Winter Slips And Falls

Jan 18, 2021

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 an 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;

Read More News

Feb 08, 2021
The fire triangle illustrates the three elements a fire needs to ignite.
These elements include:
  • Heat 
  • Fuel 
  • Oxygen
Jan 13, 2021
Particulate filtering facepiece respirators are considered "air purifying respirators," because they remove microscopic particles (0.3 microns) from the air as you breathe. 
Jan 05, 2021
The marketplace has a wide selection of winter work gloves to meet a variety of job site applications

Related Topics