How to avoid slips and falls this winter season

Accidents can happen anywhere and at any time. There’s no way to predict when an accident is going to happen, but there’s plenty that can be done to make it less likely.

Winter is a particularly accident-prone month, and it’s not hard to see why…

According to the Hospital Episode Statistics for England, a higher proportion of attendances to A&E are between November and February.

Due to the unpredictable nature of the weather during the winter months in the UK, conditions can become treacherous very quickly, putting people in more danger of becoming involved in an accident of some sort. So, what can you do to reduce your chances of a slip, trip or fall during the winter period if it seems as though the odds are stacked against you?

Wear adequate footwear

In winter, there’s the added threat of extremely cold temperatures which can turn even the safest footpath into a dangerous ice rink.

If you notice snow or ice on the ground before you leave the house, changing into shoes which have a good grip is a must. If you are on the way to work and such footwear wouldn’t be appropriate, you shouldn’t have to put your health in danger – simply pack your usual footwear in your bag and change once you get to your destination.

Take your time

There’s a reason “slow and steady wins the race” makes so much more sense when applied to getting out and about in the winter season.

Instead of rushing and slipping and sliding your way to your destination and putting yourself in unnecessary danger, it’s always best to take your time. Plan ahead and start your journey much earlier than you normally would to safely navigate your way through the snow and ice.

Watch out for black ice

Not all ice is easy to see, especially if the route you are taking is in a shaded area and doesn’t get access to much sunlight or warmth.

Black ice is extremely dangerous if you don’t notice it, which is why your attention should be focused on where you are placing your feet. One wrong step and you could find yourself spending time in hospital with a nasty injury.

Don’t use boiling water to clear ice and snow

Although it may seem like common sense to melt snow and ice with scalding hot water, you are, in fact, making conditions worse.

Yes, it will melt the snow and ice, but the water will then freeze and create a sheet of ice itself. Instead, try and grit walkways where possible as this will melt the ice without creating another slippery layer over the top.

Keep an eye on the weather reports and using your own initiative to manage any walkways which you or your business is responsible for.

It is possible to get through the winter season without risking your health – you just need to be adequately prepared to know how to deal with the weather and the risks associated with it.