Even a little snow and ice in your workplace parking lot can be treacherous. With the possibility of a slip and fall, and an injury of epic proportions, you have no choice but to take your safety into your own hands. Even if the sidewalks are shoveled and salted, there is still plenty of danger lying between your car door and the employee entrance. Here are a few safety tips to help you avoid injury.
Choose sensible footwear. Naturally you want to look fashionable at work-but when fashion costs you physical pain and possible permanent injury, it simply isn’t worth it. Instead, bring your attractive work shoes to change into, and wear boots or shoes that provide stability while on slippery surfaces. Rubber is an ideal material for navigating snow and ice.
Do the shuffle. In Florida, beachgoers are taught to do the stingray shuffle when walking into the ocean during certain seasons. This shuffle involves slowly sliding their feet along the sand in the water without lifting them. They do this to avoid stepping on a stingray. In the winter time, you can do this shuffle in order to have better control over your steps and reduce your risk of slipping. The key is to move your feet slowly in short shuffling movements.
Don’t be a Sherpa. In most cases, your employer provides you with nicely plowed and shoveled areas to walk. Don’t attempt to climb up piles of snow or in areas that have not been cleared of debris just to take a short cut. If there are any railings near the cleared and designated walkway areas, use them to guard against a fall.
Arrive early. When there is ice and snow on the ground, you don’t want to be forced to rush into work to avoid being tardy. Leave home a little earlier in the mornings so that you can avoid the need to beat the clock.
Notify your supervisor of danger zones. While you are in the parking lot, if you notice any areas that are particularly perilous, try to safely mark the area off to warn other employees and then notify your supervisor. Unless you have the proper tools and gear as well as permission from your employer, do not try to make the area safe yourself.
Wipe your feet before entering the building. When you enter the workplace, clean off your shoes so that snow and ice from the parking lot and walkway don’t melt and create indoor hazards.
Pull your head up before you fall. Occasionally, falls are inevitable. If you do begin to fall while walking outside, crane your head and back forward so that you don’t suffer a blow to the back of your head.
Fall correctly. If something should happen and you do fall in the parking lot or elsewhere, try to avoid the urge of using your hands or arms to break the fall. Instead try to land on your thigh first, then your hip and lastly, your shoulder. These are the safest spots for impact.