Winter walking: Tips to avoid slip and fall injuries

January 19, 2010

Wintertime slips and falls can exact a heavy physical and financial cost, so Radiological and Environmental Management is offering safety tips and reminders for winter walking.

In 2009 at Purdue, more than 60 injuries were reported as a result of falls due to ice or snow. Such injuries can be severe and have a long-term physical impact on the employee. Broken hips, broken arms, and injuries to backs or heads are among the most common winter slip and fall injuries.

In the past 10 years, slip, trip and fall injuries have cost the University more than $6 million. One in four injuries occurs due to a slip, trip or fall.

Despite the huge snow removal efforts of the Grounds Department and Physical Facilities personnel, hazardous conditions can arise and be hard to clear up quickly. REM offers these tips:

* Wear appropriate footwear to increase traction on ice and snow. Special over-the-shoe ice cleats can be purchased for as low as $15. Remember to take them off when inside since they can damage floors or even be more slippery on tile or terrazzo.
* Walk on surfaces that have been cleared or treated if possible. Avoid taking shortcuts.
* Take advantage of tunnels or walk through buildings even if it takes a little longer.
 * Slow down and take shorter steps so you can react more easily to a change in traction.

For more tips, visit the REM Web site at

For more information, contact REM at 49-62928 or