Get Rock Solid on Slip and Fall Prevention
With the early arrival of Old Man Winter’s icy disposition across the Northeast, now is the time to get rock solid on slip and fall prevention. MEMIC’s loss control ski industry expert, Peter Koch, takes a SAFE approach to dealing with these hazards in his Slip and Fall Prevention blog series. You could say his posts are filled with sage advice “comin’ down the mountain” on how to avoid Slip Slidin’ Away.
Surface leads the SAFE way with Goodbye Yellow Brick Road coming to mind as a tortuous and, at times, terrifying walking surface for Dorothy and her companions on their way to the Emerald City. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Yes, it’s certainly “unusual weather we’re having ain’t it?” as snow begins to coat surfaces changing the frictional characteristics of roads and walkways. Study the surface and test its condition underfoot and Walk Like an Egyptian, well not really, more like a penguin, perhaps even with a Southside Shuffle. Remember to Walk This Way with an adjusted stride, especially on Black Ice. Better yet, steer clear and Go Your Own Way around the perilous patch.
With Awareness next along the path, moving at a Helter Skelter pace plainly paves the way for distraction and disaster. When it’s Cold as Ice, focus on The Long and Winding Road ahead of you and be alert to behavioral habits like having your hands full that could suddenly cause you to become Dizzy Miss Lizzy after Free Fallin’ to the frozen pavement. While not quite the same as Staring at the Sun, gazing at your cell phone while walking can cause a blinding effect, much like being Snowblind to your surroundings.
Footwear follows next with Sensible Shoes the far better choice over Fashion such as Stiletto heels or Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes. But even a sensible shoe, over time, can become “too much walking shoe worn thin.” And though These Boots Are Made for Walkin’, are their treads worn Down to Zero increasing the risk of falling “down to the ground, down to the ground?” If so, then it’s time for a new pair! To maintain grace on slick surfaces, it’s best to have safety on the soles of your shoes by wearing traction enhancing devices or by sporting footwear with the advanced cold weather gripping system, Arctic GripTM. Indeed, selecting the proper footwear can make a big difference on whether you Stand or Fall.
Environment rounds out the journey to a SAFE destination with a need to be ever vigilant to a Change in the Weather for The Times They Are a-Changin’. Plan accordingly, as Mark Twain once said, “If you don't like the weather in New England now, just wait a few minutes.” The trek from being Snowbound to “Hey there goes the Snowman…” does take a little longer though, more like 5 long months for those of us with A Northern Soul. Rather than Walk on the Wild Side, such as taking a shortcut over a slippery slope, stay on the designated cleared path to safely do the Walk of Life.
So, make it a point this winter to rock solid on slip and fall prevention! Save yourself from a Catch Me Now I’m Falling moment that can be Bad to the Bone in a fractured sort of way and, at its worst, could Shine a Light on a Stairway to Heaven for you. Walk On, rock on, and check out Pete’s series along with other posts on slips, trips, and falls within the MEMIC Safety Net Blog.
By Greg LaRochelle
General, Slips, Trips & Falls, Outdoor Safety