Fall and winter are upon us. If you are in an area with changing seasons, it’s a great time to be outdoors. Brisk fall air is inviting for walkers and runners, falling leaves call us to get out the rakes and that snow isn’t going to shovel itself.

Whether you are trying to stay active, or just trying to get to work on time, falls can happen outdoors. According to the Fall Prevention Center of Excellence there are things each of us should do to reduce the risk of falls.

What Can I Do?

Wear shoes with firm soles, good tread and low heels. If you need to wear dress shoes at work, change when you get to your desk or office. Try to walk where there is plenty of light to help you see where you are going.Look for fallen leaves on sidewalks, they can be slippery – especially when damp.Watch for tree roots as tripping hazards.Be on the lookout for cracks, holes and uneven sidewalks.Weather can change quickly. Rain, snow and ice can make any surface slippery.

Traveling increases during fall and winter for holidays, fall and winter school breaks, and many outdoor festivals.

Hold hand rails when and where provided.Be aware of curbs and car stops in parking lots and festival areas.Grab a seat or hold onto railings when riding public transportation.Cross streets at the cross walks and use curb cuts or ramps when available.Take your time – hurrying increases your risk of tripping, slipping and falling.

Getting Everyone On-Board

Making sure the outdoor work environment is free of hazards and properly maintained is important in preventing slips, trips and falls, but it is only part of the solution. Encourage employees to make behavioral changes to reduce the risk of falls – be attentive and select and wear proper footwear for the weather.

What Should I Do If I Fall at Work?

If you are seriously injured, seek immediate medical evaluation and care.Notify your supervisor as soon as possible.If you are able to identify the cause – correct it or submit a work request to have the issue fixed. Notify others of the risk and mark or block the area if the risk is not able to be quickly removed.

If you’re concerned about falls in the workplace, contact AWS today! Our on-site injury prevention specialists will work with you to develop a program that meets your needs and exceeds expectations.