Tuesday, November 27, 2012

“Is it cold enough for you now, Ole?” “Yah sure, you bettcha, Sven!”

…."The high today was 95; overnight the words ‘frost’ and ‘snow’ creep into the forecast for northern Minnesota….."

One day the skies are a bright blue and the temps are crisp and invigorating. Then overnight Minnesota can be plunged into the depths of a long winter that will hold tight until spring. Now is the time to get prepared for outdoor work in cold weather with ice and snow conditions. Part of that preparation is footwear.

The League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust has launched a slip/trip/fall prevention campaign in Public Works. One component is the demonstration and discussion of traction devices that fit over your work boot. "It’s like having four-wheel drive on your feet!" said a couple members. "I wear them when I work on the skating rink," says another. Whether you are going out to check on the ice rink or you get called out for a water main break, keep in mind that slips and falls are no laughing matter.

Now is the time to make plans to "test drive" different brands and styles for when the snow starts flying. Make it a project for the safety committee. These devices are inexpensive, quick and easy to use, and easy to find. Winter weather brings an increase in slip and fall incidents. Many incidents don’t cause an injury—merely a sheepish look around to see if anyone saw you land on your backside. Several slips and falls do cause injury to varying degrees, from minor contusions to significant or severe sprains, strains, and fractures. Every slip and fall has the potential to be a fatality due to a head injury.

If you use or if you have tried traction devices for your footwear, let all of us know what you think. What did you like best about them and what were any draw backs? What situations would you use these in?

by Cheryl Brennan

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