Safe Use of Ice Trekkers
By Harry Cheff, MSGIA Risk Management Associate, and Annette Satterly, MSGIA Risk Management Associate
Ice trekkers are metal grips that fit snugly over the bottoms of your shoes or boots and provide improved traction for traversing snow and ice. There are many types of these devices available. One example is shown here –
Like all personal protective equipment, there is a correct and incorrect ways to use trekkers. Ideally, one would…
- Wear these devices on sensible footwear, such as boots, tennis shoes/sneakers, etc. Do not wear them with dress shoes, such as high heels or pumps, because they will not fit or function effectively on these types of shoes.
- Do not wear them while driving because, by design, they will grip the gas pedals and brakes and potentially cause an accident.
- Remove them when indoors, as they can be especially slippery on wet, slick surfaces. (Also, in those instances when the indoor surfaces are dry, it’s still best to remove the trekkers because they tend to damage floor tile.)
- Sit on a bench or chair closest to the door – this may be the front door, a door that leads to the playground, etc. when removing them. (Note to the administration: please be sure to provide seats or benches near these commonly used entryways, especially during the winter months.)
- Store the trekkers where they can dry while not in use – and if numerous staff members are sharing pairs, you may wish to provide buckets or designated spaces on coat racks close to the benches. If stored in buckets, they will need to be cleaned and dried regularly. Also, remember that ice trekkers come in different sizes, so be sure to not mix them up.
Finally, while we realize that putting the trekkers on and taking them off takes time out of your day, we assure you that those extra few minutes of caution are much shorter (and more enjoyable) than the time involved in recovering from a fall. And while some obvious things go without saying, one such thing that needs to be said is that if you own trekkers and you don’t wear – i.e., if you leave them in your car, your purse, your gym bag, or your office, instead of strapping them to your feet – you’ll have all of the risks and none of the much-needed benefits. Turn to newsletter