SAFETY SOLUTIONS: Staying Safe This Winter
We are committed to helping your business implement and maintain safe work practices. Snow and ice bring an increased risk of slips and falls due to slippery sidewalks, parking lots in work areas.
Slips, trips and falls account for about 15% to 20% of all workers compensation costs in cost approximately 300,000 injuries and more than 1500 deaths each year.
Important Tips For Winter Safety
- Keep adequate supplies of snow and ice removal tools in readily accessible areas.
- Shovel and apply ice melt as often as necessary to keep working areas clean and dry.
- Watch for areas where ice tends to form; remove ice accumulations promptly and apply additional ice melt to prevent build-up.
- Contract with a snow removal company to keep your parking lots clear of snow and ice (make sure that the contracting company’s workers compensation insurance).
- Apply additional ice melt as needed in employee parking areas.
- Place high-quality, beveled edge mats in walking areas subject to water or snow accumulation.
- Change mats regularly to ensure those in place are dry and serviceable.
- Apply a slip resistant floor treatment in areas that tend to become wet and slippery. Clean and maintain these florists according to the manufacturers specifications.
Train Employees To Do The Following
- Encourage employees to wear shoes and boots that are specifically designed to provide traction on wet slippery surfaces. Strap-on or slip-on footwear design for winter weather can be worn for additional protection. Use walkways that have been salted or shoveled.
- Discourage taking shortcuts over piles and in areas where snow and ice removal is not feasible.
- Test the travel path for slickness by sliding your shoe/boot on it before proceeding area.
- Takes short steps to maintain your center of balance over your feet.
- Walk slowly; never run on snow or ice covered services.
- When entering and/or exiting vehicles, use the vehicle for support. Never jump from vehicles or equipment.
- When entering the building, remove snow and water from footwear so as not to create wet, slippery conditions and doors.
Also take care one going to and from work this winter. Have you thought about the car or delivery vehicle that you drive? Every time that you stepped into a vehicle, you face a potential driving hazard. Have you ever thought of your vehicle as a tool? All workers use tools, From office equipment to industrial machinery. Your vehicle is also tool. Whether or not you use a vehicle as part of your work, it, like your other tools must be maintained and you safely.
Before the cold and wet weather sets in here are a few safety checks that should be made:
- Winter tire maintenance including checking tread depth, tire pressure and the spare tire.
- Have your battery checked.
- The cooling system – have the level and concentration of your radiator fluid checked.
- Windshield wipers and fluid.
- Oil and filter– some manufacturers recommend using a different weight of oil during the cold months.
- Engine air filter, rubber hoses and drive belts, check all of your fluid levels (brake, power steering, differential and transmission).
- Prepare a safety kit including: an ice breaker, tire chains, extra wiper blades/windshield washer fluid, a snow shovel, rock salt and some medium to give you traction on slippery streets.
- Keep a box of emergency supplies in your trunk such as: extra clothing, blankets, non-perishable snacks, eating utensils, water (both for drinking in radiator refills), a first aid kit, flashlight and battery powered radio with spare batteries, jumper cables and safety flares. Keep a red or white blank to signal for help. It is also a good idea to keep a toolkit in your trunk your around, but it is especially important in the winter.
Tune into the weather before you begin any trip. And don’t get behind the wheel if you have been consuming alcohol or used drugs that can impair your driving. They affect your ability to concentrate and impair reaction time, which is magnified when combined with winter driving conditions.
It is my hope that you and your family have a safe and great holiday season.
For more information, click on the author biography at the top of the page.