Just because winter weather often comes with ice, it doesn’t have to come with employee injuries.
There are a couple of preventive and reactive actions you should consider to taking to minimize risk:
- Train staff immediately before the time period when most incidents are likely to occur
- Train staff involved in incidents immediately after to make sure they know how to protect themselves
Additionally, OSHA’s website has a good deal of winter weather tips all employees should follow.
Clearing walking surfaces of snow and ice and spreading deicer quickly after a winter storm will help reduce slips, trips and falls incidents. Wearing proper footwear is also important. A pair of insulated and water-resistant boots with good rubber treads is a must for walking during or after a winter storm. Lastly, OSHA suggests taking short steps and walking at a slower pace when walking on icy or snow-covered conditions.
Shoveling snow can be strenuous on the body, so make sure to take frequent breaks in places that offer warmth. Also, be aware of the potential for back injuries, dehydration and even heart attacks. To help avoid some of these dangers, OSHA suggests workers warm-up before the activity, scoop small amounts of snow at a time and, if possible, push the snow with the shovel instead of lifting it. When lifting a snow-filled shovel, keep the back straight, lift with the legs and do not turn or twist the body.
Want to read more of OSHA’s winter weather safety recommendations? Check out their list here.