Hazards

I thought I would put this page together, as most sighted people don't realize the potential hazards that we come across in everyday life (both out in the community and at home).  A few of these hazards can be fixed rather quickly - for safe passage for the visually impaired person. Other hazards will need to be reported to the appropriate people. 

Out in the community

Some of these, are hazards we come across in everyday life...

Going to and from town

Damaged footpaths or kerbs - where you could twist an ankle. (These can be reported to council to fix).

Potholes in the road that haven't been filled in - which could cause injuries. (Again, these can be reported to council for fixing).

Cars parked across footpaths. (Owners of cars should park their car on the side of the road, or within the boundaries of the property).

Overhanging branches over a footpath at head height - which could cause an eye injury. (Property owners can trim these back so they are off the pathway, or report them to council if on council land. People renting could report these to their landlord or trim them themselves).

Loose dogs, or dogs not walked on their leads that may attack. (Owners need to keep dogs on leads if in areas where leads are required, or check to see that their gates are closed).

Pushbikes and skateboards left outside a shop (laying down on the footpath) - which a person may trip over. (People need to leave their equipment safely out of the way).

Noticeboards out on the footpath up town and not in their correct areas may cause a person to walk into them. (Leave boards close to the building, or to the outside of the path).

Clear doors or sliding doors that are not marked across the centre of the door.  If they are too clear a person could walk right through them. (Mark your clear doors in the centre left to right).

This is also the same for homes.
Cords that are on a floor in a shop or a home - these may be tripped over. (Tape these to the floor or secure them so they cannot be tripped over).

Around the home

Leaving items on the floor, such as toys, vacuum cleaners etc; leaving chairs out at the table to walk into; drawers being left out, doors and gates being left half open - or shut directly in front of you without your knowledge - could all be walked into or upon. (Clear the floor, put items away, tell someone if the door is open or closed, and don't leave drawers open).

Moving furniture around without telling them can be hazardous.  Telling them where things are, or what has been changed - will let them picture the new layout.
Some houses have overhanging china cabinets or cupboards on the ceiling - where they can knock their head.  (Make them aware of cupboard heights and dimensions).

Items being left out on the lawn (such as lawn mowers, hose reels, rakes etc) can easily be stepped on. (Put tools away and store to the outside so as to avoid injury).

Windows that come out at head height opening outwards over a path or garden - may be able to be walked into. (Ensure if you do this, that you alert the person to the possible hazard).

In summary, keep areas clear, alert the person to obstacles they may encounter and do not leave things lying around in general.
If you do move things - ensure they are aware of the changes!

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