Slip and fall injuries are the second most common type of accidental injury in Rhode Island. With nearly two-thirds of slip-and-fall incidences occurring on snow/ice and wet surfaces, it is imperative to “winterize” your facility before an accident occurs. Such slips and falls can result in severe head injuries, broken bones, debilitating back injuries, and other sprains and strains. Statistically, the average slip-and-fall claim results in an expense of over $7,500. Therefore, preventing slip-and-fall accidents should be a high priority for every employer. Read on to learn how to prevent winter weather slips and falls.
To prevent slips and falls and control your workers’ compensation costs, Beacon Mutual recommends the following:
Instituting a formal winterization program
1. Institute a formal “winterization“ program to ensure that you are well prepared to offer the safest possible environment for your employees. A Beacon safety specialist can help you do this.
Assigning a winterization coordinator
2. Assign a maintenance staff member or another employee to be responsible for the overall coordination and monitoring of your winterization program. Additional employees can be assigned to supervise specific areas within your facility such as parking lots or entrances.
Educating all employees on the dangers
3. Educate all employees as to the danger of slip-and-fall hazards. Provide information and/or instruction on preventing slip-and-fall accidents, such as how to be more aware of “black ice” conditions and utilizing proper footwear.
Adjusting or modifying operational procedures
4. Prepare to adjust or modify operational procedures that may expose employees to seasonal hazards. For example, employees who regularly enter and exit the building during icy conditions should be curtailed from carrying large loads.
Reporting all slips and falls
5. Encourage all employees to report slip-and-fall conditions immediately to their supervisor. This includes the interior and exterior conditions as well as high traffic areas around the perimeter of the property. For example, a public sidewalk or bus stop.
Here is a winterization checklist you can use to help prevent winter weather slips and falls
- All snow and ice are removed before employees arrive for their respective work shifts.
- An inventory of snow/ice removal supplies such as shovels and ice melt is maintained and managed.
- All interior traffic areas are monitored for potential slip/fall conditions particularly during high transitional periods such as between shifts and lunch breaks.
- Liberal use of mats and/or caution signage is used in areas observed to be wet or potentially slippery.
- All exterior public areas are monitored for potential icing conditions throughout the workday, including parking lots, sidewalks, entrances, and stairs. Special attention should be given to areas that receive little sunlight during the day.
- Liberal use of snow agents is used on exterior traffic areas. Ample supply is available to retreat as needed during the day.
- Employees are trained as to the potential dangers of slip and fall hazards and are encouraged to use appropriate footwear.
- All employees are encouraged to report any slip and fall hazards they may observe throughout the day.
- Most slip and fall injuries are preventable. Taking the necessary precautions and encouraging employees to be alert and report hazardous conditions can prevent a very costly injury this winter season.
Want to Implement a Winterization Safety Program?
We provide all loss prevention services to policyholders and TPA clients at no additional cost. Our dedicated staff of qualified loss prevention consultants and ergonomic specialists have significant years of experience in winter weather accident prevention. Each member understands current safety and health issues and their potential impact on Rhode Island employers. Let us help you. Contact us today!
Download Free Winter Safety Flyers
You can quickly and easily download free winter safety flyers in the Beacon Safety Library. Winter safety topics range from snow shoveling, snow blower, snow plow safety, to winter slip and fall, to so much more. Download your free flyers today.
Register for a Free Snow Removal Safety Webinar
December 16, 2021.
This webinar is open to the public.
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