Outdoor Slips & Falls
Icy sidewalks aren’t’ the only cause of falls when you’re outdoors. Even when it’s warm outside, be sure to watch out for potential tripping hazards. Parking lots, sidewalks, ramps, and stairs all can have cracks, holes, or uneven surfaces. Do not carry more than you can handle or items that block your vision.
When you’re working in the heat, it’s important to make sure you stay hydrated. If you aren’t takin in enough fluids or salts it can lead to heat-related illnesses. To prevent heat stress, give yourself time to adjust to hot weather by limiting your exposure at first, and gradually increasing the amount of time until your body has acclimated to the heat. Drink plenty of fluids to replace what your body loses through sweating. You should be drinking approximately one cup of water every 15 minutes.
If you work outdoors, it’s important to pay attention to weather patterns. Thunderstorms are common in the Midwest, and on average, 60 deaths and 300 injuries are caused by lightening every year. Stay up to date on weather forecasts and watch out for early warning signs. Often indicators include high winds, dark clouds, rain and distant thunder. When you see lightening, count the seconds till you hear thunder. If the time is 30 seconds or less the storm is close enough to be dangerous.
Summer is peak season for ticks and insect bites. If you work outdoors be aware of the conditions you are most at risk. Insects are most active at dawn, dusk, and early evening in tall grass, shrubs, and wooded areas. You can avoid insect bites by wearing long pants, sleeves, closed toe shoes and a hat. Use insect repellent on clothes and exposed skin. You should perform body checks for ticks after being outdoors. If one is found, remove it immediately with fine tipped tweezers by pulling it straight out. Then cleanse the area with antiseptic.
Spring and Summer months come with their own unique safety risks. Getting back outside after a long winter can feel like a relief, but don’t let that cause you to let our guard down while you are working outside.