Tips For Avoiding Common Snow-Related Injuries In Minnesota
The weather is getting colder and with the cold will come more snow and ice. It has already been a tough year concerning the weather here, and we are not to the coldest time of the season. Minnesota residents are used to dealing with wintery conditions, but that does not mean accidents will not occur. Snow and ice-related injuries are common in this area. However, there are some tips you can follow to ensure you stay safe this Winter.
Stay safe when walking around
Whether you are out shopping for the holidays or running your everyday errands, you need to be vigilant. When we are busy, it is easy to forget how dangerous walking on snow and ice can be. A slip and fall injury could result in serious injuries that can lead to major medical bills. If you want to stay safe when walking on snow and ice:
- Know what the weather forecast is and be prepared for wintry conditions.
- Walk slowly through areas of snow and ice.
- Minimize distractions when walking. Put the cell phone away when the ground is frozen.
- Watch your step at all times. Even if the ground looks clear in front of you, black ice can be undetectable and very dangerous for pedestrians.
- Avoid walking in areas that are shaded. Ice will remain on the ground longer in these areas.
- Wear shoes that are appropriate for walking on snow and ice, preferably with good tread.
What about workplace safety?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were more than 20,000 total ice, sleet, and snow-related workplace injuries during the latest reporting year in the US. Minnesota had one of the highest rates of worker injuries that year, with 4.7 incidents per 100,000 workers.
Employers can promote workers safety by:
- Encouraging employees to walk slowly in ice and snow.
- Ensuring that workers have clearly marked walkways that have been cleared of hazards.
- Spread salt on icy areas or areas that could potentially become icy.
- Telling workers to put away all distractions like cell phones and other devices.
- Giving workers proper footwear for the conditions.
At the beginning of every cold season, employers should have training sessions with employees who will be working outdoors. This will serve as a good reminder of best practices. In Minnesota, the average days for a worker to recover from a slip and fall injury and get back to work is six days. This is costly for both the worker and the employer.
Common snow and ice fall injuries
Slip and fall incidents send more than one million Americans to the ER each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warn that the elderly are at higher risk of injuries due to slip and fall incidents, but anyone can suffer from the following after a fall:
These injuries all require medical care. If the injuries are serious, a person could be facing tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills. Victims of slip and fall incidents may not be able to work while they recover and they risk losing the income they need to support themselves and their families.