Slow down and stay safe
January 2024 · Forward in Hope
Did you know that most workplace-related accidents occur in the winter? The reasons vary as much as the Kansas weather.
Unfortunately, most hazards result from our hurried state – trying to get out of the rain, snow, or cold and into someplace warm. Others occur from lack of visibility and maneuverability, covered as we are from head to toe in hoods, toboggans, and gloves. To help you avoid workplace trips and falls during this wintry season, I offer a few tips:
- Dress appropriately. Walkways, ramps, streets, and sidewalks can be icy; wear the right shoes. Your soles should have enough grip to keep you from sliding. At Saint Francis Ministries, we shovel doorway entrances and sidewalks and spread salt to help melt the ice, but there’s always bound to be a slick spot somewhere. So check your footwear.
- Slow down. Our instinct is to move quickly from the freezing cold to someplace warm, but slow down. Regardless of how good your shoe is, moving rapidly across icy surfaces increases your chance of falling. Take your time and get there safely.
- Use handrails when traversing stairs, ramps, or inclines – even if you’re indoors. They might have ice or snow on them from outside, making them slippery. Hang tight to stay upright.
- Make multiple trips if necessary. I can’t tell you many holiday shoppers I saw overloaded with items that blocked their line of sight. We regularly overload ourselves with car seats, laptop bags, kids’ items, paperwork, etc. It is always better to make multiple trips than to carry too much and risk obscuring a potential danger or not having an available hand to balance ourselves.
These are simple tips, but they can protect you from trips, slips, and falls this winter season. Be well and stay safe.
Gary Phelps is Saint Francis Ministries’ Director of Facilities, Safety, & Security.