Here in Alaska, we have to deal with icy pathways more often than the average person. You may feel like you’ve spent most of your life treading cautiously. Nonetheless, slip and fall accidents are a leading cause of injury.
In today’s post, we examine tips to avoiding a slip and fall accident—as well as tips to avoiding injury if you do fall.
If you’ve ever spent a winter in Alaska, you probably already know to walk slowly and wear sturdy footwear with good treads whenever you go outside. Here are a few other things to pay attention to, which can help avoid a fall:
- Watch for changing terrain. There may only be a light frost on the ground, and walking on a dirt pathway is perfectly safe. But if the path suddenly changes to a rocky surface, this could be much more treacherous.
- Wipe your feet. When you head inside, be sure to clear your soles of any caked-on snow or ice.
- Be cautious around entryways. If you’re entering a public building with lots of foot traffic, others could have tracked in snow past the doorway, which could create slippery surfaces.
If you do end up falling, there are certain steps you can take to limit the severity of the impact. Follow these guidelines:
- Don’t strain. If you tense your body up when you fall, you’re more likely to incur a more serious injury. Although it feels counter-intuitive, try to keep your body loose.
- Pivot. Serious injuries to the spine and head tend to result from falling directly forward or backward. If you feel yourself start to fell, try to redirect your body to land on your side—ideally on a cushioned area, such as your hip or buttocks.
Following the above guidelines should help to limit your likelihood of getting injured in slippery winter conditions. However, if you do sustain injury from a slip and fall, it can be useful to consult with a personal injury attorney to understand your options for compensation.