SureFoot safety program launched

Daily walking conditions bulletin helps prevent winter falls

Sidewalk shovelling
The SureFoot Winter Walking Conditions Bulletin informs the public about pedestrian travel and offers tips on how to make safer choice to avoid slips and falls.
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Winnipeg Health Region
Published Thursday, February 16, 2012

Safe Communities Winnipeg announced today that it has launched the SureFoot Winter Walking Conditions Bulletin - a new service that provides the public and local media with free daily updates on winter walking conditions within Winnipeg.

SureFoot is the first program in the world that is dedicated to informing the public about winter pedestrian travel conditions, to encourage safer choices and reduce slip and fall injuries. The service is similar to the UV, Heat and Air Quality Indexes, providing timely information to help people stay safer and healthier.

"This is a groundbreaking and valuable new resource in protecting those with mobility issues, especially seniors," said Winnipeg city councillor Harvey Smith, chair of Winnipeg's Committee for Safety. "I think anyone in our community who's slipped on winter ice can appreciate the importance of the service. Before venturing out on a winter day, we encourage Winnipeggers to check the daily walking conditions bulletin and take appropriate precautions."

More than a third of Winnipeggers 65 years and older, and half of those 80 and older are likely to fall this year. Every year there are about 2,000 people end up in a Winnipeg hospital after suffering a fall. In Manitoba, falls account for over $164 million in health care spending, and roughly 90 per cent of hip fractures. 

"Many falls are preventable. Precautions such as wearing non-slip footwear and using a walking stick for icy conditions, requesting salt or sand be placed on icy sidewalks or entrances, and choosing a different walking route that is clear of ice, can reduce the risk of a fall," said Dr. Lynne Warda, Medical Director, IMPACT, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. "The SureFoot system can help us all plan safer walks in the winter."

The City of Winnipeg Public Works Department will publish the daily SureFoot bulletin as long as winter conditions are in effect. Each bulletin will describe the types of walking conditions in effect that day.

The bulletin is available:

The website will also provide other helpful safety messages.

SureFoot is an initiative of Safe Communities Winnipeg, developed by and with the support of The City of Winnipeg, University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, Canadian Footwear, Manitoba Falls Prevention Network, University of Manitoba, Age-Friendly Manitoba, Arthritis Society Manitoba-Manitoba/Nunavut Division, Active Living Coalition for Older Adults, and Velocity Branding.

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