Preventing Slips and Falls this Winter

It’s been quite the winter. We’ve seen mild temperatures followed by a deep freeze, ice storms and snow. Basically a typical winter in Canada. The weather extremes leave conditions that can make our properties hazardous for slips and falls.

As a property owner, you are responsible for making sure that your property is safe. You could be held liable if someone fell and injured themselves due to your negligence. Here are some practical tips from the Insurance Bureau of Canada to help avoid slips and falls this winter.

  • Ice and snow – use salt, sand and/or shovels (or the combination) to keep driveways, steps, paths and sidewalks cleared and safe.
  • Keep walkways, clear of debris, water, ice and other slippery material.
    • Watch that your shovel hasn’t fallen down into the sidewalk or that salt/sand bags are put away. They could be big tripping hazards.
  • Have good lighting in areas where people walk
    • Black ice can look like wet pavement
  • Do you have hand rails installed on steps? You and others can catch yourself if you start to fall. They provide support for balance and sturdiness when walking up steps as well. Our loss prevention team actually requires that railings be installed on most steps.
  • Unexpected elevation changes, surface cracks or gaps could also surprise people and cause a slip and fall. When you get a clear spot in the weather or in the spring, get these spots fixed up to avoid any issues.
  • If you are going places, allow yourself extra time for driving and walking into the building. The extra time should help you to walk safely. When walking, take short deliberate steps.
  • Wear appropriate footwear for the weather.
  • Try and shovel your drive way and sidewalks right away after a snowfall before it gets packed down.
    • Lighter loads are easier on your back and arms too!

We’re about half way through the winter. Please keep up the good work with getting snow and ice cleared and keeping your property hazard-free. Doing the preventative maintenance can go a long way. Take care and stay safe out there avoiding slips and falls.

Information sourced from the Insurance Bureau of Canada: and

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