by Melissa Gilbo, CISR on Mar 6, 2015
Will it ever stop snowing in New England? Will spring ever come? Since we are still dealing with snow, icicles and freezing temps into March, I thought it was important to share some helpful tips regarding how to avoid a slip and fall on ice and snow. I thought #10 was particularly important considering icicles are everywhere you look! The RSA (Road Safety Authority) has issued the following tips that can help you avoid a slip and fall in ice and snow:
1. If a journey cannot be avoided walk on a footpath, not in the street. If there are no footpaths walk on the right hand side of the road (towards oncoming traffic). Be extremely careful as frost, ice and snow will make walking on footpaths very dangerous.
2. Remember that footpaths may not be treated so walk with extreme care, make sure you are wearing appropriate footwear and in extreme conditions consider an appropriate walking stick or walking pole.
3. Avoid walking in the streets at all costs if possible. Remember, cars and trucks slip and slide, too! If it’s an emergency, and you can’t avoid the street, wear bright or reflective clothing.
4. Visibility is reduced in snowy condition so wear high visibility clothing or carry a torch
5. Wear clothing that does not restrict your vision. Stay warm, but DO NOT impair your vision with hoodies, ski masks, scarves, hats, etc. This type of clothing could prevent you from spotting icy conditions that may lead to a fall or not enable you to see a car that is spinning out of control.
6. Snow and ice cause havoc quickly, so use extra caution when crossing roadways, and always cross at pedestrian crossings.
7. Ice can easily hide under a light dusting of snow. Just because you don’t see the ice doesn’t mean it’s not there waiting for your unsuspecting footfalls.
8. If you can’t avoid the ice and snow, bend your knees slightly and take slower, shorter steps to help reduce the chance of a slip and fall and an injury.
9. If forced to use the steps at someone’s home, apartment, or other public building, walk slow and take shorter steps when descending. The same is true of driveways and other hilly terrain; these areas can be very dangerous when they become slippery with ice or snow. Steps especially can be hard to clear and build up ice easily.
10. Be aware of overhead hazards! Falling icicles and chunks of snow pose a serious risk. In extreme cold weather icicles can build up in size very quickly and are lethal. Be aware of what’s happening above you, and stay clear from the edges of buildings.
The RSA has prepared a helpful guide ‘Severe Weather Advice for Road Users’ which you can download from the RSA’s website. (click here to view the guide) It has lots more useful advice on dealing with the difficult road conditions.
Be careful out there...spring will come...I promise!
photo courtesy of Dreamstime