Preventing Work-Related Injury in Winter Weather

Employee Shoveling Snow in Winter Weather

Winter weather can exacerbate the likelihood of the most-frequent claim causing injury: Slips, Trips, and Falls. As a result of snow and ice, traction is drastically decreased between the ground and soles of one’s shoes therefor increasing the risk of losing balance and an accident occurring. There are many steps you can take to promote safety during foul weather conditions including establishing a protocol for winter weather.

If you have a protocol in place, great! Take a look at our tips to align them with your current winter weather protocol and create an even safer work environment!

If you do not have a winter weather protocol in place, below is an excellent place to start. Use your regular maintenance routine, hazards that you have previously noted in poor weather, and our tips to develop your personalized Winter Weather Protocol.

  • Coordinate. 80% of all slips, trips, and falls from ice and ice and snow occur in parking lots, with 50% happening between 6 AM and 12 PM. Ensure your snow removal is scheduled for before employees arrive. The sooner you can start snow removal the better! This should begin at no more than ½ inch of accumulation.
  • Designate. Consequently, snow piles are created from removal, making navigation difficult. Establish and indicate a safe path of travel with markers, such as cones, to provide a safe entrance and exit from your establishment.
  • Inspect. Snow is both an indoor and outdoor hazard. It can be tracked inside, melt, and create wet areas in your business. Stay in front of all hazards by performing constant inspections of your entire property. All too often injuries can occur from the snow that has been removed from the walkway but melted and refrozen in the path of travel.
  • Maintain. After initial snow removal, keep up a regular snow maintenance routine, as well as your everyday routine. Do not disregard any of the steps of your daily maintenance protocol. Check in with your staff, or manager to confirm no regular maintenance tasks are being sidelined.

Your winter weather protocol will only work if you, your staff, and all your protocols are in harmony!

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