When do slip and falls occur?
Slips and falls are some of the most common winter weather hazards. This year, choose safety over style. According to the Centres for Disease Control (CDC), slips, trips and falls on icy walkways or sidewalks were associated with more than 17,000 ER visits in 2009. If you’ve suffered a slip and fall injury and require the assistance of a slip and fall lawyer on Long Island, we recommend that you contact Winkler Kurtz LLP for assistance.
Slips, trips and falls are some of the most common causes of injury among adults 65 years old and older living in the community, accounting for 34% of all unintentional injuries treated in emergency departments (EDs). Older adults who suffer a fall, even if they do not fall to the ground, have a much higher risk of being admitted to a nursing home or long-term care facility after the injury.
6 steps for avoiding slips and falls
Selecting appropriate footwear for winter weather conditions is one way to prevent slips and falls. Hikers use buying guides which rank hiking boots based on different criteria. Many of these criteria can be used to select a winter boot for safe walking on ice and snow.
- Look for a solid, slip-resistant outsole construction that provides traction on different surfaces such as gravel or wet rocks, especially if you walk to work every day. Pay close attention to the density of the outsole material and both lateral and medial side stability.
- Check the upper materials and linings. Boots with a waterproof membrane or coating provide extra insulation to keep your feet dry, which is especially important if you plan to walk in snow for extended periods of time. Added insulation also helps keep feet warm when walking for long periods on cold surfaces. Lining materials such as fleece or faux fur provide thermal insulation, wicking moisture away from your feet.
- Sturdy eyelets and lace hooks are best for snow boots, as they hold laces firmly in place to prevent slipping during activity or if you step on the laces by accident. A durable, strong lace is also helpful to achieve a tight fit around your ankles.
- Select boots with durable, slip-resistant outsoles and relatively shallow heels (1/2 to 3/4 inch). Avoid boots with multiple layers or cushioning under the insole as these can compress after extended wear, reducing the boot’s slip-resistance. 5. Look for easy on and off designs like pull-on handles or buckles and zippers. This is especially important if you need to remove your boots quickly (for example, at the bus stop).
- Look for well-defined insteps that provide support and prevent your foot from sliding forward when walking downhill. Also, avoid boots that are extremely wide around the ankle – these can make it difficult to walk. Also, don’t choose boots with laces that are too long as they can get caught if you trip or slip.
Remember, some manufacturers will have different models specifically designed for winter conditions so check their specifications before making a purchase.
Avoiding slips and falls in the workplace
For workplaces, employers should work with employees on a safe footwear program and provide them with information on different types of winter footwear. This may be especially important for older workers as they face a greater risk of slips and falls due to reduced balance and vision, among other things.
Workplaces should also ensure that employees know the appropriate footwear required for work and how it affects their safety. Employees can benefit from on-site training on proper footwear use. They should also be encouraged to participate in regular “toolbox talks” that provide employees with updates on specific workplace hazards and how to prevent them. If you feel that your employer has led to you suffering an injury, please contact our slip and fall lawyer on Long Island for assistance.
Slips, trips and falls are not just inconvenient; they can often result in serious injury. Winter is a good time for all of us to be reminded of the importance of using appropriate footwear for different surfaces.
Remember, when in doubt, leave it out!
Contact our slip and fall lawyer on Long Island
Winkler Kurtz, LLP can be reached by giving us a call at 631-928-8000 or by scheduling an appointment via our website forms.