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Be careful, when walking in the snow and on the ice

LET IT SNOW — That white powder might look beautiful, but could be dangerous to pedestrians, according to the Snow & Ice Management Association.
HAMBURG — According to the Snow & Ice Management Association, falls account for more than 1 million injuries in the United States, every year.

There are four common types of walking accidents; the most common is the slip and fall, which occurs when an individual falls, due a surface not cleared of snow or ice.

“Every winter, the hazards of driving in snow and icy conditions are noted, but rarely is walking on snow and ice addressed,” said Martin Tirado CAE, executive director of the Snow & Ice Management Association. “Slipping and falling while walking accounts for a large number of winter-related injuries, and can have an impact on the quality of life for the injured person.”

SIMA, the national nonprofit organization representing the snow removal industry, has offered individuals tips for safe winter walking.
– Wear proper footwear, which places the entire foot on the surface of the ground and has visible treads. Avoid a smooth sole and opt for a heavy, treaded shoe with a flat bottom.
– Accessorize, to see and be seen. Wear sunglasses, to see in the reflective light of the snow. Wear a bright coat or scarf, to be visible to passing drivers.
– Plan ahead. While walking on snow or ice on sidewalks or in parking lots, look up, to see where feet will move next, to anticipate ice or an uneven surface. Scan from left to right, to keep out of the way of vehicles or other hazards.
– Allow for good hearing. Avoid listening to music or engaging in conversation that will drown out oncoming traffic or snow removal equipment. Stay alert for approaching traffic or other noises.
– Anticipate ice. Be wary of thin sheets of ice that may appear as wet pavement (black ice). Ice will often appear in the morning, in shady spots or where the sun shines during the day; melted snow refreezes at night.
– Walk down steps slowly. Firmly grip handrails firmly and plant feet securely on each step.
– Enter buildings carefully. When at destinations such as school, work or stores, look at the floor, when entering the building. The floor may be wet with melted snow and ice.
– Be careful when shifting weight. When stepping off a curb or getting into a car, avoid causing a weight imbalance and falling.
– Avoid taking shortcuts, when there is snow and ice on the ground. A shortcut path may be treacherous, because it is likely to be located where snow and ice removal is not possible.
– Look up and be wary about what is overheard. Injuries can result from falling snow/ice as it blows, melts, or breaks away from awnings or buildings.

For more snow and ice removal tips, visit SIMA online.

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