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Be aware of your slip-and-fall risks this winter

Winters in New York can be brutal, to say the least. Whether you get to your destination by driving or walking, you might face a serious fall once the temperatures drop. Wet floors and icy pavement can be expected this season, but it is frightening to realize falls often occur when you least expect them. Therefore, it is important to be prepared for a fall and know your risks before you slip.

EHS Today reports that slip-and-fall claims are responsible for a significant portion of all workers’ compensation claims. However, you do not have to be working to be at risk for a fall. Grocery shopping, walking the dog or even going down the street to check your mail could all end in a trip to the emergency room this winter.

The following tips can help you be better prepared to avoid a fall when the weather gets bad:

  • Learn to recognize the signs of black ice. This type of ice is deadly on roads, and no less dangerous for pedestrians. It often looks like wet pavement but is smooth and extremely slick. Black ice is commonly found in shady areas or spots where ice melts during the day and freezes at night. Nighttime and early morning are the worst times for encountering black ice.
  • Walk carefully and slowly when the ground is wet or icy. Understand that slick ice can be lurking underneath a layer of snow. Be sure your arms are free to help you balance, and wear sturdy shoes with non-slip soles. Take care getting in or out of your vehicle.
  • Watch out for slippery floors when you are entering or exiting a grocery store, shopping mall, apartment building or another public area. Walk on mats whenever possible.

Property owners are responsible for keeping their premises safe for their customers and residents. Speaking with a personal injury attorney after a fall may help you understand your rights and options.

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