Falls account for more than one million injuries annually in the US alone. Many of these are related to slipping and falling on snow and ice during winter months. As a professional snow removal provider, you have a unique opportunity to educate your customers or site patrons about the importance of walking safely during winter weather events, here are some tips:
- Wear proper footwear. Proper footwear should place the entire foot on the surface of the ground and have visible treads. Avoid a smooth sole and opt for a heavy treaded shoe with a flat bottom.
- Accessorize to see and be seen. Wear sunglasses so that you can see in the reflective light of the snow. Also, wear a bright coat or scarf so that drivers can easily see you.
- Plan ahead. While walking on snow or ice on sidewalks or in parking lots, walk consciously. Instead of looking down, look up and see where your feet will move next to anticipate ice or an uneven surface. Occasionally scan from left to right to ensure you are not in the way of vehicles or other hazards.
- Make sure you can hear. While seeing the environment is important, you also want to be sure you can hear approaching traffic and other noises. Avoid listening to music or engaging in conversation that may prevent you from hearing oncoming traffic or snow removal equipment.
- Anticipate ice. Be wary of thin sheets of ice that may appear as wet pavement (black ice). Often ice will appear in the morning, in shady spots or where the sun shines during the day and melted snow refreezes at night.
- Use extra caution on steps. When walking down steps, be sure to grip handrails firmly and plant your feet securely on each step.
Use these tips on your website, e-newsletter or other communications to make sure people keep this in mind before they visit a site that you manage.
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