One easy way to avoid winter falls: Step down, not out.

A quarter of winter slip-and-fall injuries reported to SFM occur in parking lots. These injuries are often severe and affect all kinds of businesses.

Encourage your employees to use the “Step down, not out” method to avoid falls while getting out of their vehicles and stepping off curbs. Remembering to step down with both feet when getting out of a vehicle or stepping closely to the curb forces you to stand up or step flat footed, eliminating the chances of slipping.

Watch the video for a demonstration of this simple but effective method for avoiding winter falls.

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How to step down, not out of a vehicle

  1. Swing both legs out to the side.
  2. Place both feet, flat footed, on the ground.
  3. Grab onto the door frame or steering wheel to help support yourself to a standing position.
  4. Use at least three points of contact—two feet and one hand—a practice used by professional drivers.

Walking safely off a curb

  1. Shorten your steps. Do not step too far out.
  2. Step flat footed off the curb. This minimizes your forward momentum. It also helps ensure your leading foot doesn’t land heel-first and result in a slip.

Download this penguin poster to spread the word at your workplace.


This is not intended to serve as legal advice for individual fact-specific legal cases or as a legal basis for your employment practices.

This post was originally published on January 30, 2014, and updated on December 5, 2018.

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