Avoid slips and falls in icy conditions

Slips and falls in icy conditions are a common problem. But there are things that you can do to reduce the risk of getting hurt. Follow the guidelines below if you do have to go out in icy conditions.

Tips for avoiding slips and falls

If you have to go out in icy conditions, you should:

  • think about the best route to your destination and plan on taking a little extra time to get there
  • avoid rushing or taking shortcuts over areas where snow or ice removal is incomplete
  • select suitable footwear - flat footwear with rubber soles provides better traction on ice and snow than leather-soled or high-heeled shoes
  • use handrails where you can
  • take small steps to keep your centre of balance under you
  • avoid carrying lots of heavy shopping bags, especially on steps
  • walk slowly and never run on icy ground
  • keep both hands free for balance, rather than in your pockets
  • always be aware of your surroundings - some places will stay icy for longer than others for example places that do not get the sun
  • be particularly careful getting into and out of vehicles - and hold on to the vehicle for support
  • keep paths clear of debris, water, ice and snow
  • be sure to use floor mats when entering a building to remove moisture from the soles of your shoes - this will help protect you, as well as others who follow, from having to walk on wet or slippery surfaces

Helping the elderly

The elderly are particularly vulnerable during periods of cold weather. If you have an elderly parent, relative or neighbour, you can help them avoid injury. For example, you could offer to go to the shops for them or grit their garden path.

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