Conditions created during the winter months can add an increased level of risk of injury to our daily work tasks. Most relevant to every workplace would be the increased risk of falls due to slips and trips.
Slips occur when there is a loss of footing due to incomplete contact between foot and ground, or loss of traction between foot and walking surface.
Trips occur when walking is interrupted by an obstruction or incidental error in stride.
Tips to avoid slips, trips and falls at your workplace this winter:
- Walk slow and steady. Focus on your footing and look ahead to the path you are taking.
- As often as possible, walk on paths that have been cleared of snow and ice.
- Keep an eye out for changes in walking surfaces.
- Step down off curbs, not out. Take care to land flat-footed.
- Wear appropriate footwear for the conditions and utilize traction footwear if required.
- Avoid distractions, such as cell phones, while walking from the parking lot or on stairs.
- Always use handrails on stairways and don’t rush.
- If you need to carry things, try to free up your hands by using a backpack or shoulder bag.
- Use extreme caution when getting in and out of your vehicle. Clean off running boards if required. Step down and not out when getting out of a vehicle and use hands for support.
- Remain mindful of changing weather conditions throughout your workday, even during breaks and lunch.
- Report all unsafe conditions to a supervisor or maintenance staff.
Preventative action is the most important factor when it comes to controlling slips, trips and falls in the workplace. Reduce worker injuries this winter by remaining proactive, identifying high risk areas, and using the hierarchy of controls to reduce the risks that are associated with snowy and icy weather.
Staying safe and well this winter … it’s snow problem!
Work Safe. Home Safe. Every day.
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