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Use caution and ‘walk like a penguin’ to avoid slips

The below is a message from University Human Resources and Facilities Management and Safety.

Dear Ohio University Community,

Winter weather is here and along with cold weather and shorter days comes the issue of slips and falls.

Slips happen when there’s not enough friction or traction between your feet (shoes) and the surface you’re walking or working on. Here are five tips to avoid slips and falls:

  • Slow down: It's not a race, and there is no prize for being first.
  • Watch out: Watch for hazards such as ice or snow accumulations and report issues immediately.
  • Clothing is not optional: Wear well-fitting clothing to protect exposed skin.
  • Walk like a penguin! This means keeping your hands free and extended to maintain balance and catch yourself if you fall, keeping your knees bent, and spread your feet slightly to the sides as you move forward. Keep your center of gravity over your front foot, rather than extending it in front of you.
  • Stay alert: The chances for an accident are greater if you're distracted.

Slips and falls are a leading cause of workplace injury and death. They also cause a great deal of pain and suffering. Take slip and fall hazards seriously, especially during inclement weather, and don't let them trip you up.