Walking is working


Three tips for incorporating safety into your steps

Is walking 10,000 steps a day to live a heathier life urban myth or scientific fact? That depends on who you ask or which health news outlet you visit. Either way, if you slip, trip or fall in pursuit of taking those steps, it may cause a painful injury, and no injury is ever healthy.

No matter where you work or what your primary job function is, walking is likely a part of your workday. Whether walking through the parking lot to get to a vehicle, taking a stroll around the building to get some fresh air or passing through the hallways to get to the next meeting, we are all on our feet at least part of the day. With every step comes the potential to get injured.

According to the National Safety Council, falls on the same level are a leading cause of preventable workplace injuries that result in time away from work. In fact, such falls have been a leading cause of workplace injuries for years. Here are three tips that can help eliminate hazards and prevent you and your coworkers from getting hurt while walking:

  1. Watch where you walk. We have all seen the classic videos of people walking into signs, stepping into potholes or even slamming into closed glass door. While walking, put down your phone, put away your reading materials and pay attention to your surroundings! Distracted walking can cause you to trip, slip or fall into something you did not see.
  2. Dress for success. Wear appropriate footwear for your work environment and the weather. Always wear the shoes that are recommended for you to accomplish your job duties safely, whether that is steel-toed boots for an industrial area or slip-resistant shoes in a wet zone. When it rains or snows, parking lots and sidewalks inevitably get slippery. Wear shoes with good grip and learn the “Penguin Shuffle,” a series of flat-footed steps that resemble a penguin’s walk.
  3. Keep areas clean and tidy. Keep boxes and supplies off the floor and out of areas that have foot traffic. Whenever possible, do not run cords and cables through walkways, and keep them covered if there are no safer options available. Be sure to immediately clean-up spills and wet rain/snow tracks. A clean, neat and organized workplace is a safe workplace.

Following these tips will help prevent slips, trips and falls both at work and at home. Not all walking hazards are yours to fix, but if you see something with the potential to injure, say something. That pothole in the parking lot may not get fixed until someone reports it. Your ankles, knees and back will thank you! ////

THE PENGUIN SHUFFLE: Lean forward when you walk so that your center of gravity is above the leg that is taking a step forward.