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Winter Slips and Falls

Winter weather can impact walking and working surface in many areas of the country.

Approximately one third of compensable injuries in the Midwest are related to slips on ice and snow.

Consider these tips for preventing slips and falls:

• Evaluate and address drainage from roofs, parking lots, exterior storage tanks, etc. to ensure that water from melting ice and snow is directed away from pedestrian traffic areas.

• Implement an inspection process to identify areas where ice and snow accumulate (snow patrol). Inspections should be conducted routinely regardless of weather conditions. Warmer temperatures can cause snow and ice to melt and refreeze. Prioritize these areas based on the level of worker exposure. Higher traffic areas should be given first priority.

• Ensure that adequate snow removal equipment and salt or ice-melter is kept on hand. Ensure that the ice-melter is compatible with the temperatures in the region.

• Ensure that proper footwear is worn by all employees including office workers. Ice cleats may be advantageous for workers who spend considerable periods of time working outside.

• Remove as much snow and ice from footwear as possible when entering buildings.

• Place floor mats at entrances of buildings to address water accumulation from ice and snow on footwear.

• Use railings when climbing or descending stairs.

• Maintain three points of control when mounting or dismounting mobile equipment and ladders.

• Avoid carrying objects that restrict forward view and affect stability.

• Walk like a penguin. It sounds ridiculous, but think about it. Penguins are pretty stable on ice. They take short steps, walk at a slow pace, extend their wings, bend legs slightly, walk flat footed and point their feet slightly outward. They also place their weight over their front foot to improve stability.

It may look silly, but can prevent a nasty fall.


Source: Joe Mlynek is president of Progressive Safety Services LLC, Gates Mills, OH;, and content creation expert for Safety Made Simple Inc., Olathe, KS;


This Safety Tip of the Week is sponsored by: Electro-Sensors, Inc. 



This Safety Alert was published by Grain Journal, Decatur, IL ... 800-728-7511 ... website:

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Safety Tip of the Week is edited by Managing Editor Tucker Scharfenberg and published each Monday by Grain Journal, Decatur, IL

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