Winter Safety: How to Avoid Being Tripped Up!
Weather-related slips and falls are normally common during the winter. Such slips and falls have become a serious hazard in most workplaces across the country as the outdoor surfaces get wet and icy. Even mud and wet leaves can affect walking conditions and could lead to slips and falls. You don’t want your workers slipping and sliding as they attend to their daily duties. You need to put effective measures to prevent these accidents during this time of the year both inside and outside your workplace. We’ve prepared a list of essential tips to help avoid slips and fall during the winter, as well as other seasons throughout the year. Please read on.
Create a Slip-Free Zone
You need to emphasise on having a slip-free zone both inside and out all year round. Encourage your workers to clean up any drips, leaks, and spills immediately before they proceed with their duties. The maintenance personnel and cleaners should always put up barriers and signs to warn other employees and visitors when floors are slippery, wet, or otherwise hazardous. You can also assign someone to put mats near entrances to keep the pathways dry.
On the outside, ensure that slippery spots are salted or sanded before every shift begins and when necessary. Ensure that your workers always wear proper footwear with nonskid soles when working or walking outside during cold, icy weather. They should also walk slowly taking smaller steps on slippery or wet surfaces. Encourage them to wipe their feet before coming back inside. Have an effective plan to treat ice and remove snow.
Encourage the employees to perform routine ploughing, salting, and shovelling before the business opens for visitors and clients. You can also hire a contractor to conduct the exercise.
Encourage Workers to Always Report Slippery Conditions
Your workforce should attempt to fix any hazardous condition they come across in the workplace. However, you should also have a platform where they get to report any slipping hazards inside the workplace, especially those they can’t effectively clean up. You can use post and chain barriers to protect employees from entering the areas where there’s a serious tripping or slipping hazard until the problem has been fixed.
Ensure they know how and to whom they should report to whenever they notice slipping hazards on the parking lots and walkways. This will enable the maintenance team to get to the area and remove the hazard as soon as possible before any worker or visitor slips and falls. Remember, fixing a slipping hazard before anyone gets hurt means saving on worker’s compensation, medical expenses, and possible lost workdays.
Maintain Proper Lighting
Poor lighting is normally associated with an increase in workplace incidents. And this can be even worse during the winter. Ensure there’s proper illumination in staircases, walkways, basements, dock areas, and construction areas. Poorly lit walkways should always be kept clear of obstructions and clutter. Encourage the employees to always turn on the lights first upon entering a darkened room. You should also repair cords, switches, and fixtures as soon as possible if they malfunction.
The Bottom Line
Your chances of injuries and illness are significantly increased during the winter period. This is the time where you need to emphasise more on workplace safety to avoid possible lawsuits and loss due to compensation and lost workdays. Recognise potentially dangerous conditions that could result in slips, trips, or falls and make arrangements for the necessary actions to be taken.