Walk Safely on Ice (Like a Penguin)

Just one bad fall on ice can have long-term consequences. Pay attention to the weather and stay inside to avoid icy hazards when you can. When you do venture out, walking in winter requires special attention to avoid slipping and falling. Slips and falls are the number one source of loss for Society Insurance policyholders.

No matter how well the snow and ice is cleared from parking lots or sidewalks, customers and employees may still encounter some slippery surfaces. It is important for everyone to be constantly aware of these dangers.

Consider these tips:

  • In cold temperatures, assume that all wet, dark areas on pavements are icy and slippery. Approach with caution.
  • During inclement weather, avoid footwear with smooth soles, heeled shoes and other inappropriate footwear that will increase chances of slipping and falling. Instead, wear footwear with a slip-resistant sole and an adequate tread that channels liquid out from under the shoe.
  • Use special care when exiting and entering vehicles. Use the vehicle for support.
  • Walk safely like a penguin.
    1. Point your feet out slightly like a penguin to increase your center of gravity.
    2. Extend your arms out to your sides to maintain balance.
    3. Take small steps (think: shuffle or waddle) for stability.
    4. Keep your hands out of your pockets. When your hands are in your pockets while walking, it decreases your center of gravity and balance. Plus, you can help break your fall with your hands free if you do start to slip.
  • Watch your step and go slowly!

-Jeff Raash

Author

Jeff has over 20 years of experience in facilities and plant engineering services. He has completed the OSHA 10-Hour Voluntary Compliance safety seminar, is a member of the International Facility Management Association, and will be completing his degree in Automated Manufacturing Systems (AAS) in 2017. Jeff has previously worked for Zion Nuclear Power Plant where he was very active on the safety committee. Jeff teaches a DNR Snowmobile Safety Course and is a welding instructor for the Neenah Boys & Girls Brigade in Neenah, Wis.

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