Slips and falls can occur almost anywhere at any time. Didn’t see that grease spot on the kitchen floor? There’s a slip and fall right into the refrigerator. Missed that patch of black ice while walking into work in the middle of January? Now you’re laying on the sidewalk with a freshly sprained ankle.
If you work in slick and slippery environments, you may find that meetings between you and the ground are becoming more and more common due to slips and falls. Not wanting to hurt yourself and miss any time from work, it’s important to know just how to handle slippery conditions. Here are some of our tips.
Take slooooow steps (and learn how to do the shuffle)
There’s no need to rush over slippery spots. Take slow, small steps whenever you need to walk across potential slip hazards. Slowing your steps down also means that you can use your feet as “probes” to detect just how slippery the surface in front of you is.
Always watch where you’re stepping before you actually take a step. If you’re walking slowly, your reaction time will be more responsive to changes in traction. If stepping is too dangerous, do the shuffle! Keep your feet on the ground (at least one foot apart) and just glide and dance your way across that spill. We wouldn’t recommend practicing your ice dance routine, though.
Bend your knees, and walk flat-footed
Life is all about balance, right? Well, the same is true for walking over slippery surfaces. You’re going to want to make sure that you are as centered and balanced as possible. While walking, slightly bend your knees and try to walk flat-footed as much as you can. This keeps your center of gravity over your feet to maintain that perfect balance. To help with this, point your feet slightly outward.
Remember, none of this has to be too drastic. We don’t want you squatting down like a crab and walking sideways with your feet pointed out. Just get your feet directly underneath you and keep them flat while taking (slow) steps.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane…balance beams!
Remember when you were a kid on the playground walking along the balance beams? You didn’t keep your hands close to your sides to keep yourself balanced. You extended them straight out to your sides!
Now, do the same thing when walking across a slippery surface. Keep your arms extended to the sides to maintain your balance. And if you haven’t read a single word yet, remember this tip: Never keep your hands in your pockets. Not only will your balance be poor, but if you do slip, you won’t have your arms out to protect yourself. Hello, missing teeth.
Handrails are there for a reason
Those cute little handrails next to steps aren’t just there for decoration. They might be the one thing that keeps you from slipping and falling, so use them! If the stairs are slippery, use any railings that you can find to keep yourself balanced and upright.
If there aren’t any railings insight, try to use a wall, counter, or other surfaces nearby to grab onto while walking across the slippery surface. If all else, fails, take the balance beam approach we mentioned earlier.
Are slips common at your job? Then wear the proper footwear!
If you work in an environment where slips are a regular occurrence, then it’s important for you to have on a pair of slip-resistant shoes at all times. Interested in checking out some of our own styles? Feel free to browse through them at https://www.srmax.com/