By Brandon Burnett and Breanne Coulter, for Skedline.com
Torontonians on the roads may be in the clear, but with the fluctuating weather, many commuters may be at more risk of injury due to slips or falls than they expect.
According to a 2016 report by Toronto Public Health, between 2006 and 2015, almost 30,000 people went to the emergency room, and 2,800 were hospitalized due to a slip or fall on snowy and icy sidewalks.
In that period, there were 2,300 liability claims against the city of Toronto, and cost the municipality approximately $6.7 million per year. Ontario’s healthcare system spent about $4 million annually as well.
The City of Toronto says they have 1,000 city staff and 600 contractors, who use up to 150,000 tonnes of salt and 14,000 tonnes of sand annually as part of their salt management plan. However, sidewalks may be neglected unless there is 2cm or more of snow accumulation, leading to increased risk after a thaw and freeze, or freezing rain.
The city also says it could take up to 72 hours after snowfall for service, and low-traffic sidewalks won’t be maintained until 8cm or more of snowfall accumulation, leaving much room for accidents.
The risk doesn’t stop at the sidewalk. Student commuters must remain cautious onto campus grounds.
Humber College’s human resources department says slips, trips and falls accounted for about one third of all lost time injuries from the last year at the college.
Humber advises students that observe any slip or fall hazards to contact security at 416-675-8500, or Facilities Management at 416-675-6622 ext. 4444.