Winter accidents are all too common, leading to major injuries, time off work and lost earnings. But they can be avoided with due diligence, according to Kim Donaldson, Ontario VP of the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). "We all have a role to play in keeping our property safe, to say nothing of ensuring the safety of our friends and family."
Donaldson outlined IBC’s top tips to avoid injury this winter, which brokers are advised to pass on to their clients:
- Wear sturdy footwear with good grip.
- You can always change into other shoes when you reach your destination.
- Walk slowly and take short, deliberate steps.
- Allow yourself extra time to get from point A to B so you don't need to make a last-minute dash.
- Avoid walking with your hands in your pockets.
- Keeping your hands free helps with balance.
- Avoid areas with poor lighting.
- Remember that black ice can look like wet pavement.
- Use the handrails on stairs so you can catch yourself if you slip.
- Take extra care when entering or exiting vehicles.
- Keep walkways clear of debris, water, ice and other slippery materials.
- Push the snow rather than lift it when shovelling.
- If you must throw snow, take only as much as you can easily lift, and bend with your knees, not your back.
- Try to shovel your driveway and sidewalk immediately after a snowfall, before it gets packed down.
- Many municipalities have bylaws that require homeowners to clear city-owned sidewalks adjacent to their property within 24 hours after a snowfall.
- Salt or sand your front steps, driveway and sidewalk.