Every year millions of people are injured as a result of slip and fall accidents in the United States. In fact, slips, trips, and falls together are the leading causes of injuries at work and at home. They occur due to many reasons. However, many outdoor slip and fall injuries are the result of hazardous weather conditions like rain, snow or sleet, hail, ice or frost, wet leaves and debris. Wheelchair ramps and exterior stairlifts help people overcome outdoor accessibility challenges in harsh weather conditions.
Here are some of tips to reduce the risk of slip and fall accidents in bad weather:
- Use a rake, leaf blower or vacuum to remove leaves from walkways
- Create traction on icy walkways or roads using salt and sand
- Avoid taking shortcuts, especially through areas not meant for pedestrian traffic
- Keep working areas and walkways well lit
- Wipe wet shoes thoroughly on a doormat, when you come indoors
- Avoid turning too sharply when changing your direction
- Reschedule outings if the weather is really bad
- Wear shoes with rough or textured soles to trek through the snow and ice and avoid high heels during inclement weather
- Install brighter light bulbs throughout the home and use nightlights in darker areas
- Always store your mobility equipment indoors as the cold weather and freezing temperatures will adversely affect the devices and batteries. Prepare your vehicle to withstand harsh weather conditions, including snow storms. Before winter arrives, make sure that your vehicle has snow tires and is in proper working condition.
National Seating & Mobility offers exterior stairlifts and wheelchair ramps. Exterior stairlifts are designed to overcome the barriers posed by outdoor staircases. You can install the device on steps leading to your front door, out to your back garden, down to a garage or to your patio. Made from durable material, these devices can withstand the harshest weather. The seat and armrest of an outdoor stairlift is upholstered with marine-grade vinyl that keeps the lift free from snow and other elements. These devices also come with a weatherproof cover for protection from wind, rain, snow and ice. These devices can perform well in even in temperatures as low as 0°F and 125° F (-15°C – 52°C). They come with a safety belt and a powered swivel seat for a safer exit at the top and bottom of the staircase and sensors to detect obstacles in their path.
Installing a wheelchair ramp can resolve accessibility challenges posed by thresholds and steps at a doorway. The open mesh design of aluminum wheelchair ramp allows water to pass through, preventing dangerous and slippery ice from forming.