Oh yeah, it's getting nippy at night up North with morning frost on the pumpkin a telltale sign. It's time to don the down or other insulating layer, like fleece over flannel, especially if you tend to be an outsider with autumn activities. All too soon, the spectacular red, orange, and yellow hues of fall foliage will give way to bare trees and black ice thus ushering in the slip-fall season well before the snowflakes fly. The accumulation of slick, wet, and matted leaves on walkways can create a serious fall hazard to the unwary passerby. A pile of deciduous debris can also conceal hidden dangers such as large cracks in sidewalks, uneven ground surfaces, potholes, and curbs. Obviously, ongoing and prompt removal of leaves from walking surfaces, especially after a rain and windstorm, is essential to reduce the liability and likelihood of a slip-fall injury.
Much like the bounty of apples found in an autumnal orchard, MEMIC offers an abundance of resources on slip, trip, and fall prevention. Check out our STF SAFE Poster that summarizes the four contributing factors or indicators of slips, trips, and falls (STF's) in a S.A.F.E manner as follows:
Surface – consideration of composition, condition, changes in elevation, and contamination of the substrate (what's under your feet) that could affect traction or increase the potential for a slip, trip, or fall
Attention – perception of the surroundings, comprehension of the risks, and actions taken through situational awareness, avoiding distraction
Footwear – the type of shoe or boot used to maximize traction along with support and stability of the foot and ankle as well as toe protection, the condition of the footwear (worn soles, deteriorating stitching/uppers), and implementation of an administrative footwear policy
Environment – weather awareness (accumulating leaves, pooling water, snow/ice buildup), adequate lighting, and adjustment to stride or pace of work
With plenty of work ahead to prepare for Old Man Winter's arrival, it's time to act on STF prevention during this shoulder season of pumpkin spice and apple-cinnamon. Raising employee awareness can go a long way in preventing a slip-fall that could result in a shoulder tear, broken bone, severe strain/sprain, or traumatic brain injury. Plan ahead and enjoy fall in down without falling down!
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