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Injury Prevention at Work: 5 steps to a fall-free winter

Posted on Dec. 29, 2020 ( comments)

Winter weather has arrived in Washington. Slips, trips and falls are most common during these wet and frosty months.

Whether your employees are located within a single job site, large office building or working from home, there are simple steps workers can take to stay safe and injury-free this season.

5 Ways You Can Prevent Slips and Falls

  1. Wear the right shoes.
    In inclement weather, opt for flat shoes with slip-resistant soles, or rain or snow boots that provide traction. When you work outside, don’t rely on flat, worn down shoes to keep you safe.  

  2. ​Lighten things up with a headlamp.
    For dark winter afternoons/evenings, consider a headlamp to light the way when working outdoors.

  3. Be aware of your surroundings.
    Be alert to wet floors, soggy sidewalks and slick driveways. Risks can lurk just below the surface. Even a light dusting of snow can hide treacherous black ice.

  4. Slow down.
    Slips and falls happen more often when you’re running late or in a rush. When you toss in slippery surfaces and fewer hours of daylight, the risks skyrocket.

  5. Keep it safe indoors.
    If you’re working from home, remove wet or snowy shoes as soon as you’re in the house to keep floors dry and slip-free.

When a Fall Gets You Down

Accidental slips and falls can result in a variety of injuries, from minor scrapes and bumps to something much more serious, like fractures or chronic pain. If a worker takes a tumble, it’s important to know when and where to get care.

If you hit your head: Head injuries are common with falls and can result in concussions or brain trauma. Seek emergency medical treatment right away, especially if you lose consciousness, feel nauseous or begin to bleed. 

If you think a bone might be broken: If pain doesn’t improve after 24 – 48 hours and you’re still in pain, you may consider an X-ray. All MultiCare Occupational Medicine clinics and Indigo Urgent Care locations have onsite X-ray to rule out sprains or fractures. We’ll even send you home with a pair of crutches, if needed.

If you’re bleeding: Scrapes and cuts typically require minimal treatment, but even minor cuts may need stitches. Indigo Urgent Care has 31 locations so that you can get the quick treatment you need and easily transition your care to an Occupational Medicine visit if needed. If something more serious is going on, we’ll refer you to a higher level of care.

Convenient, Reliable Workforce Care

Our team at MultiCare Occupational Medicine is dedicated to helping Washington employers and employees navigate worker's compensation and workplace safety. We can address any questions you have or guidance you need related to COVID-19 in the workplace, injuries on the job, pre-employment services and more.

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Puget Sound: 888-280-5513

Inland Northwest: 833-602-8027

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About The Author

MultiCare Health System
MultiCare is a not-for-profit health care organization with more than 20,000 team members, including employees, providers and volunteers. Learn more. More stories by this author
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