Wet or Slippery Surfaces
Wet or slippery surfaces are a major cause of slips. Highly polished floors such as marble, terrazzo, or ceramic tile can be extremely slippery even when dry and definitely increases the potential for a slip when moisture (spills, rain, snow and mud) is present. Food preparation areas and residential dorm bathrooms and kitchens are also a high risk for slippery surfaces.
The following are some simple ways to reduce the liklihood of a slip and/or fall on wet or slippery floors:
Use anti-skid adhesive tape in high traffic areas Use absorbent mats in entrance ways during inclement weather. (Caution: Unanchored mats may cause slip hazards themselves. Make sure that mats lie flat and that the backing material will not slide on the floor.) Display wet floor signs when appropriate, note that signs are a great awareness tool but should not be the only means of control. Clean up spills and wet floors as soon as practical. Have a procedure to deal with spills and ensure spills are reported and cleaned up immediately. Use proper mats in areas that tend to be “spill prone” (bathing facilities, food preparations) When wet processes are used, maintain proper drainage or use platform mats
If you must walk on a slippery surface:
Wear proper footwear for better traction on slippery surfaces Point your feet slightly outward, keeping your center of balance under you Take slow, small steps Use your feet as probes to detect possible slip, trip and fall hazards Get your feet underneath your body quickly to maintain your balance after an initial step Use rails or other stable objects that you can hold onto Protect the more vulnerable parts of you body like your head, neck and spine if you do fall
When moving from carpet to tile or dry tile to wet tile, etc. the friction (grip) between the sole of the shoe and the floor surface lessens. Alter your stride to take shorter, slower steps.
No matter how well the snow and ice are removed from campus sidewalks, parking lots and the surrounding streets, people will invariably encounter some slippery surfaces when walking outdoors in the winter. Many cold-weather injuries are the result of falls on ice-covered streets and sidewalks. Walking on snow or ice is especially treacherous. Getting around on campus in icy conditions calls for planning, caution, and a little common sense.
Dress warmly and wear boots with non-skid soles (avoid plastic and leather soles). Keep warm, but make sure you can hear what's going on around you. Wear a bright scarf or hat or reflective gear so drivers can see you, and whatever you wear, make sure it doesn't block your vision or make it hard for you to hear traffic. A heavy backpack or other load can challenge your sense of balance. Try not to carry too much--you need to leave your hands and arms free to better balance yourself. During the daytime, wear sunglasses to help you see better and avoid hazards. At night, wear bright clothing or reflective gear. Dark clothing will make it difficult for motorists to see you--especially if they aren't expecting you. When entering a building, remove as much snow and water from your boots as possible. Take notice that floors and stairs may be wet and slippery. Walk carefully. Be prepared to fall and try to avoid using your arms to break your fall. If you fall backward, make a conscious effort to tuck your chin so your head doesn't…