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home : business : business December 14, 2017


11/14/2017 12:07:00 PM
Be prepared for winter dangers at work

Sisters businesses need to be just as well-prepared as homeowners for winter's wrath.

Winter can be downright dangerous for workers and customers alike. Sisters businesses are required to keep walkways cleared of snow and parking areas accessible. It's always best to jump on that chore early to avoid fighting mass accumulation. And it's a good idea to assess potential danger areas, especially those that pose the threat of slips 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, Oregon's not-for-profit workers compensation insurer. "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 precautions companies can take now to prevent slips, trips, and falls this winter:

• Check last year's incident reports to see where most slipping accidents occurred and take corrective measures to eliminate hazards.

• 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.

• 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."

• Ensure lighting is adequate on walkways, stairwells, parking lots, and other areas where slips might occur.

• Consider making foot/heel traction devices available to staff who frequently work in areas where snow and ice are prevalent.

• 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.

• Raise awareness about the importance of proper footwear and safe winter walking (walk like a penguin).









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