Well, fall is here and with it, in my area, the rain. And an increased awareness of slippery surfaces, which ice may add to in the coming winter months.
And an increased risk of slipping and falling. Of course, there is always a risk of falling, but, I’ve become aware of surfaces when the weather turns wet.
Now, the reason I am more aware of this is, I distribute flyers door to door and I come across all kinds of surfaces once I leave the common sidewalk. Many people have wooden steps, or brickwork, or painted surfaces.
During the drier summer months, there are fewer slippery surfaces, and my shoes will grip the vast majority of these different surfaces just fine. But in wet weather, this can change. And, while most of you may not do as much walking on the job as I do, you will still be walking sometime, and in wet or inclement weather eventually.
So here’s what I found to watch for.
Wood. As I now tell myself, “Watch out for that wood!”. I’ve found that wet wooden surfaces can be as good as ice when it comes to slipperiness! Now, a lot depends on the type of wood used and how, and with what, it was treated. Sometimes there’s no problem, and other times, I really have to watch my step. So, when I see a wooden surface on someone’s walkway, I step over it, or, if I can’t avoid stepping on it, I test it out with one foot first and walk gingerly and slowly.
Painted surfaces. Again, it depends on the kind of paint. Even stepping on a painted curb where the paint has not yet begun to fade, can be very slippery. So can the painted stairs of older houses. And, you don’t have to be entering a person’s residential property to encounter this. Some malls and shopping centers and other entertainment venues can sometimes sport decorated sidewalks that are smoothed out with paint. A shopping mall I know of had to change its sidewalk design because it was very slippery when wet!
Brickwork. This can vary, too. If the bricks are smooth and new, they can also become a very slippery walk when wet.
Extra smooth concrete surfaces. Sometimes people’s driveways are like this, or they may have a walkway that is made to be like cobblestones, with the stones rounded and very smooth. This too can be very slippery.
Moss or leaf covered surfaces. I’m in an area where the leaves fall in the fall, and where moss is prevalent. And, these, too, can create slip and fall hazards. Also, so can sidewalks under fruit bearing trees.
And just so you know, I usually wear trail runner type shoes when I walk on the job. And I have nearly slipped and fallen a few times.
So, if you’re out for a walk, on a short shopping jaunt, or visiting a friend’s house, just be aware of what you’re walking on. After all, it’s your feet that belong on the ground, not your backside!
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