Did you know the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that about 1 million Americans are injured and 17,000 die from slip and fall injuries every year? These types of injuries occur in cold and icy conditions for two main reasons: slippery surfaces caused by ice, slush and melting snow; and cracked walking surfaces as a result of repeated thawing and freezing. The most common types of injuries include:
- Muscle sprains and ligament strains
- Herniated discs in the spine
- Compression fractures and broken bones
Though these are the most common types of injuries, much more severe ones can occur. That’s why we have five tips to help you avoid slip and fall injuries at your facility:
1. Control the conditions you can
Clear all clutter and debris from walkways to avoid tripping hazards. Keep mats, rugs, and building entrances dry throughout the day. As people are continuously tracking in slush and moisture, make sure there are protocols in place to keep entrances dry, so that slips are avoided.
2. Ensure adequate lighting and signage
During harsh weather conditions, leave outdoor lights on all day to ensure maximum visibility. Also check to see if there is sufficient lighting in all building entrances. Place warning signs and cones at walkways and slippery areas.
3. Inspect and fix areas where ice will accumulate
Make sure gutters and downspouts are free from leaks, as they result in ice in freezing temperatures. In addition, check all sidewalks for cracks where ice will form and further damage the concrete.
4. Use deicers
Calcium chloride and salt can be used to keep snow from sticking and ice from forming on the ground by raising the surface temperature. They work best when used before snow and ice storms arrive. Stay ahead of the winter weather and sprinkle the deicer evenly over all sidewalks and walkways.
5. Know what not to do
Do not pour hot water on ice. The water will quickly freeze, creating even more ice. Do not rely solely on deicer after the ice has formed. The best way to prevent falls is to prevent the ice from forming, so use the deicer before adverse weather conditions strike.
For more information, please contact GCA Services Group at firstname.lastname@example.org.