Preventing Slips and Falls in the Winter

Slips and falls can be costly accidents when you consider human suffering, medical expenses, lost wages and public good will. When snow and ice accumulates on walking surfaces, the potential for slips and falls greatly increases. Unsafe conditions are accidents waiting to happen. The right attitudes and actions can prevent and mitigate many of these accidents.

Care about safety - what YOU can do personally

catoon of a rubber boot
  • Wear proper footwear, smooth leather soles are a no-no.
  • Wear boots with good treads and carry your shoes into the office.
  • Try to stick to pathways that are well maintained. Don't take shortcuts.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to get where you are going. Don't hurry and be observant of conditions.
  • Park your wet boots where puddles from melting snow won't create hazards for others.
  • Promptly report slippery conditions to your supervisor.
  • Immediately report falls to your supervisor.

You can and do make a huge difference in preventing losses!

Are you responsible for keeping a facility safe?
Protect yourself, your employees, co workers and the public from injury!

  • Involve and educate your employees and co workers. Ask what they see as the problem areas each winter. Their suggestions regarding operations can improve work and facility safety. Educate them so that they know what their personal responsibility is in preventing slips and falls.
  • Most people don't expect parking lots and walkways in Maine to be free of snow and ice in the middle of a blizzard. However, they do expect snow and ice to be promptly removed once snow stops falling.
  • Do you have a snow removal plan? Is it up to date? Is it followed? If you need information on what a good plan consists of, call our office.
  • Record snow and ice removal activities in a log, if practical.
  • Post warning signs in high hazard areas.
  • Provide adequate lighting where possible.
  • Be aware of refreezing.
  • Install abrasive strips, rubber mats or anti-skid floor
    tiles in unavoidably wet areas such as entryways, coat rooms and bathrooms.
drawing of snow shoveler

Has a slip and fall happened? Here's what to do:

Provide assistance to the person who fell. Call E911 if the person asks you to or if they are unconscious.

Immediately correct any hazards if possible and if not, report the hazards to the proper person(s) so as to protect others from injury.

If the person slipped and fell on State owned or controlled property, please collect as much of the following information as possible and report it to Risk Management as soon as you can.

  • The name, address and phone number of the person who fell.
  • The names, addresses and phone numbers of any persons who witnessed the fall.
  • The exact date and time of the fall.
  • The exact location of the fall. If possible take a photo of the location even if the photo doesn't show any hazard.
  • Try to find out the sequence of events that lead to the fall.
  • Note what the person was doing at the time; were they climbing stairs, turning, carrying items, talking with others, running, tending to children you get the idea.
  • Ask if there was a particular reason this fall happened, was there was an unsafe condition or practice?
  • Record what the person was wearing for footwear.