How to avoid slips, trips and falls
Slips, trips and falls are one of the most common types of accident in life generally. However, the risk of falling in winter months is significantly increased when there is snow and frost on the ground.
Thankfully the consequences of many falls on snow or ice is only minor bumps and bruises.
That been said, every year, thousands of people are both admitted to hospital and seen as outpatients in Accident and Emergency departments throughout the country. These patients seek help after suffering more serious injuries after falls during winter weather.
Figures from the Hospital Episode Statistics for England show there were 1,153 admissions to hospital in 2015/16 as a result of people falling over on snow or ice.
During times when pavements and footpaths are covered in snow/ice:
- Wear firm hard wearing footwear, with a good grip – pack some spare shoes so that you can change if necessary when you have reached your destination
- If you've got walking poles (or similar), use them as they can provide much needed stability
- Take it slowly and allow yourself extra time to get from A to B, don’t leave yourself having to make a last-minute dash for the bus
- Keep an eye on what is underfoot. Some places will remain icy for longer than others, look out for any wet and dark areas on the pavement
- Wear gloves – keeping your hands out of your pockets when walking will help your balance, try to avoid carrying heavy loads as this could put you off balance
- Spread your feet when walking by pointing out your toes slightly to increase your balance
- Remove as much snow as possible from the bottom of your shoes as you are walking and as you enter buildings
- Grassed areas are usually less slippery, so walk on them if possible
- If you feel that you are going to fall, try and fall on your side. Avoid falling on your knees, spine or trying to stop your fall by putting your arm out. You will injure yourself less if you can relax your muscles
- If you have neighbours who are elderly, disabled or just need support, offer to clear their path to help them avoid a slip or trip.
- If councils have provided grit bins so people can treat public areas not included on the usual gritter route, use them - but don't remove vast quantities for your own personal use
- Remember, as well as slips and trips on pavements and other public places, many people have accidents on their own footpaths and driveways.
Why not consider one of our affordable Winter Packs to keep your property safe this winter?