Walk like a penguin for fall prevention

Indiana winters are notoriously unpredictable. One thing we often face is ice, which can prove quite risky for walking on sidewalks, through parking lots and up driveways. Anna Marsh-Belote, Parkview’s Director of Safety and Emergency Preparedness talks to us about the most common winter walking hazards: snow-covered ice, black ice and uneven surfaces.

Black ice.

Black ice (also known as clear ice) forms when water freezes in such a way that it appears completely clear to the eye. The clarity of the ice frequently causes the pavement below to show through, creating the illusion that no ice is present.

Black ice poses a great deal of risk to pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists, as they might not be aware there is any danger. These conditions can occur even when the surrounding temperature is above freezing - 0°C (32°F), as the temperature may very likely remain below freezing in the mornings.

Please use caution in the parking lots and on sidewalks to assure you make it to and from work safely! Be aware of your surroundings and wear proper footwear, like slip-resistant shoes/boots when walking outdoors.

How to walk safely.

As mentioned, a pair of boots or shoes with slip-resistant soles (not all tennis shoes are slip-resistant) are ideal. Be careful when exiting your car. Assure you have sound footing as you exit. When exiting your warm vehicle, the soles of your shoes are generally warm, which can melt the snow beneath your feet. This melted snow then refreezes quickly, creating a thin layer of ice between the bottom of your shoe and the ground. This is called a “micro freeze”. Wiping your feet will help keep the tile clean and also prevent falls on the tile floor.

Reduce your risk: Walk like a penguin

  • Point your feet out
  • Keep your head up
  • Take short steps slowly
  • Extend your arms out to your sides (for balance)

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