Winter Weather is Here

By:  Randy Ammerman, Silver Lake College of the Holy Family, & 2014 Safety Council Chairperson

It’s time to think about how you will manage the ice and snow conditions that are upon us. Many cold weather injuries are the result of falls on ice covered streets, parking lots and sidewalks. Getting around in icy conditions calls for planning, caution, and a little common sense:

  • Dress warmly and wear boots with non-skid soles (avoid plastic or leather soles).
  • Keep warm, but make sure you can see and hear what’s going on around you.
  • Do not carry too much – leave your hands and arms free to better balance yourself.
  • During daytime, wear sunglasses to help you see better and avoid hazards. At night, wear bright clothing or reflective gear.
  • When entering a building, remove as much snow from your boots as possible.
  • Be prepared to fall, and try to avoid using your arms to break your fall. If you fall backwards, make a conscious effort to tuck your chin so your head doesn’t strike the ground with a full force.
  • Use special care when entering or leaving a vehicle – use the vehicle for support.
  • Streets, parking lots and sidewalks that have been cleared of snow should be approached with caution. Look out for “black ice.” Dew, fog or water vapor can freeze on cold surfaces and form an extra thin, nearly invisible, layer of ice that can look like a wet spot on the pavement. It often shows up in the early morning or in areas that are shaded from the sun.

No matter how well the snow and ice are removed from sidewalks, parking lots and streets, you will invariably encounter some slippery surfaces when walking outdoors in winter.

Please be careful out there.