Winter weather has already gripped many parts of Missouri this year, and it seems like just yesterday we were shoveling snow by the foot. Simple safety preparations go a very long way in preventing budget breaking workplace accidents. The two minutes it takes to read this article could save you months of headaches.
Being prepared for dangerous conditions starts by following the weather forecast for your area. Get a good idea of what is headed your way in the short- and long-term by checking out forecasts from local stations or the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s online resources.
Start the day right by having snow and ice removal crews arrive before employees. Communicate severe weather safety policies year-round, including the requirement to wear proper footwear and your company policies for traveling in winter weather conditions.
During big snow or ice storms, it’s almost inevitable that some of your employees, even with the support of your snow removal contractor, will need to spread ice melt or shovel snow—so keeping them safe on the job is critical.
- Pre-treating sidewalks, ramps and parking lots can make a big difference in the ability to effectively clear surfaces. Employees who assist with these tasks should wear reflective vests.
- Maintain parking lot lighting and use yellow caution tape to outline safe pathways.
- Consider blocking off areas that cannot be cleared effectively.
- Remove snow as it falls, reducing the risk of injury due to overexertion. Make sure you are only utilizing employees who are healthy enough for this task.
Slips and trips and falls are problems that require everyone’s attention. You don’t have to be a safety manager to spot hazards in the building including slick hallways and entrances from wet weather.
- It is important to require that all employees report slip and trip hazards as soon as they find them.
- Sand and rock salt used to melt snow outside can be tracked inside the building, creating slick areas. Inside your workplace make sure floor runners and rugs are securely placed in areas that could become wet and slick.
- Place signage and communicate warnings about slick walking areas to all employees.
- Find easy ways to combat the problems created by slips, trips and falls in the workplace by watching WorkSAFE Center’s video.