Snow days were a highlight of winter when many of us were children, but now winter weather presents a host of difficulties for employers. In bad weather, your biggest concern should be the safety of your employees. Slips, trips and falls account for a large percentage of workplace accidents. Although such incidents can happen year-round, winter weather conditions can increase the risk.

Despite a company’s best efforts to keep the workplace safe, rain, snow and ice can create hazardous conditions, not just in outdoor areas, but also indoors.

Here are some simple tips to avoid slips, trips and falls during wintery conditions:

  • When you enter a building, use provided rugs and mats to dry your footwear.
  • When walking, pay attention to where you are going and have your hands available to steady yourself if you slip. Avoid carrying heavy loads that may affect your balance.
  • If you notice hazardous areas, mark them with temporary signs or inform janitorial staff.
  • Wear footwear with heavy treads for increased traction if you work outside.
  • Don’t rush. Give yourself sufficient time to get where you need to be.
  • Step, don’t jump, from vehicles.
  • Use handrails wherever they are provided so you can prevent yourself from falling if you slip.

If you do slip and fall, make it easy for people to assist you. That means making yourself easily accessible and visible. For example, wear a brightly colored jacket if your job requires you to work outdoors.

Proper Training

Winter weather can cause unusual conditions and higher risks, so it is important to train employees on safety procedures. In addition to slips and falls, they should understand the danger of exposed skin, insufficient protective wear and cold/wet/slippery equipment. Employees should also be trained to recognize cold-weather illnesses and injuries in themselves and co-workers, and should be aware of how to treat such incidents.

Be Prepared

Employees should be informed of your company policies related to inclement weather. You should have an established communication method to inform your employees of a business closing or delay. When bad weather is coming, address all your policies again and plan for the worst potential outcome to ensure your company is prepared for the weather.

© 2021 Zywave, Inc.