More than one million accidents occur each year in Finland, of which more than one third are various kinds of slips and falls. You can also prevent slipping and falling through your own actions.
Slipping and falling will increase considerably in icy road conditions. One in three Finns will slip and fall at least once during the winter.
– You can slip or fall anywhere and for many reasons. The important thing is to focus on walking, because slipping can happen indoors as well as outdoors. You can prevent slipping and falling through your own actions and choices. Diligence and vigilance play a key role in everyday mobility, says planning officer Saara Aakko from the Finnish Red Cross.
Seven tips for staying upright in slippery winter conditions:
1. Wear shoes that are suitable for the road conditions.
Shoes contribute to staying upright. Stiletto heels and shoes with smooth soles are the worst choice for slippery conditions. Pay attention to the heel and sole material and tread when choosing footwear.
2. Use anti-slip guards.
Anti-slip guards prevent slipping effectively. Wear shoes that you intend to wear with the anti-slip guards when shopping for the guards. In addition to anti-slip guards, studded shoes are also an excellent choice for slippery conditions.
3. Make time for commuting.
One in six slip and falls is due to being in a hurry, or leaving things to the last minute. When you are in a hurry, it is more difficult to anticipate, prepare and plan ahead, which are all important to slipping prevention.
4. Check weather reports for pedestrians.
Road conditions are especially dangerous for pedestrians when there is water or snow on the ice. The Finnish Meteorological Institute provides warnings in their pedestrian weather reports. Check any warnings before going out and prepare accordingly.
5. Give feedback on maintenance.
Ploughing snow off yards and streets, gritting and lighting impact safety in winter conditions. If there is room for improvement here in the yard of your home or workplace, please provide feedback to the maintenance company.
6. Stay in shape and keep alert.
Your attentiveness will decrease when you are tired or gloomy, increasing your risk of slipping and falling. Good general state of health, muscle strength and balance contribute to staying upright no matter your age.
7. Focus on walking.
Roughly one in three Finns will slip and fall during the winter. Not being alert causes falls – you pay too much attention to something else, e.g. your phone, and not on walking. This will not provide you with enough time to watch out for ungritted, uneven and slippery patches.
The ‘Pysy pystyssä’ campaign takes place again on 16–29 January 2023. The objective of the campaign is to remind you that you can reduce slipping and falling accidents through your own actions and choices. It aims to reduce the burden on and costs to the healthcare system arising from slipping, falling and fractures.
Aivovammaliitto, EHYT Finnish Association for Substance Abuse Prevention, the Network for Preventive Substance Abuse Work, Finance Finland, the Finnish Meteorological Institute, the Finnish Association of People with Physical Disabilities, the Finnish Road Safety Council, LähiTapiola, Nikander ja Wiinikka Oy, Partioaitta, the Finnish Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Suomen Luustoliitto ry, the Finnish Red Cross, Taitavat Suutarit ry, the National Institute for Health and Welfare and the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health are involved in the campaign.
Saara Aakko from the campaign, planning officer, Finnish Red Cross, +358 (0)40 4806 973, firstname.lastname@example.org