While most parts of Oregon are still experiencing crisp fall weather, forecasters are predicting another cold and wet winter ahead. Experts say this window of time, before snow and ice hit, is the best time to prepare your business to ensure employees avoid slips, trips, and falls.
“Last year we saw more than 1,400 slips, trips, and falls related to snow and ice–more than any winter in recent memory,” said Scott Brown, senior safety management consultant at SAIF. “It’s critical to take a few steps now to avoid slips later–we don’t want another year of record-breaking injuries.”
Brown offered 7 precautions companies can take now to prevent slips, trips, and falls this winter:
1. Check last year’s incident reports to see where most slipping accidents occurred and take corrective measures to eliminate hazards.
2. Pay special attention to areas where transparent “black ice” can form, including walkways shaded by trees, buildings, or other structures. Look for partially covered walkways or parking stairwells where precipitation might blow in.
3. Plan ahead to have ice-melt granules distributed to hazard-prone areas. To learn more, read the Consumer Reports guide, including “5 steps for better deicing.”
4. Ensure lighting is adequate on walkways, stairwells, parking lots, and other areas where slips might occur.
5. Consider making foot/heel traction devices available to staff who frequently work in areas where snow and ice are prevalent.
6. If your organization allows telecommuting, encourage staff to work from home when extreme conditions are expected, to minimize risk for slips, motor vehicle accidents, and other weather-related dangers.
7. Raise awareness about the importance of proper footwear and safe winter walking. Watch this video to learn how to walk like a penguin.
Read more and download free posters at saif.com/falls.
SAIF is Oregon’s not-for-profit workers’ compensation insurance company. For more than 100 years, we’ve been taking care of injured workers, helping people get back to work, and striving to make Oregon the safest and healthiest place to work. For more information, visit the About SAIF page on saif.com.