Winter Slips & Trips

An employee was entering an office building through a rear entrance and slipped on a snowy sidewalk. Unable to reach his cell phone, he laid in the snow for 30 minutes before he was found. Injuries included a right hip fracture, frostbit, and hypothermia with a total recovery time of six months.

Toolbox Tips

  1. Pay attention to the weather and plan ahead. Use smart phones and websites to get regular weather reports.
  2. Don’t leave the house without putting on appropriate footwear and clothing for ice and snow.
  3. Pre-treat sidewalks, parking lots, and driveways before a snow storm and continue to treat throughout the storm.
  4. Wear slip on ice cleats when walking in slick conditions.
  5. Do not attempt to shovel large amounts of heavy snow at one time. Snow can weigh up to 21 pounds per cubic foot. This weight combined with the leverage of the shovel handle can cause an overexertion injury to the hips or spine.
  6. Keep outside walking paths well lit. Set floodlights on stands where walking is particularly treacherous. Report parking lots or entrances where light bulbs are out.
  7. Use three points of contact when entering or exiting trucks or machines. Scan for ice on the steps or in the parking lot before exiting the vehicle.
  8. Report any unsafe walking conditions and warn others by placing signage or by closing off the walkway.
  9. Take the safest path into any facility. Enter and exit the facility only using pathways that have been cleared.
  10. Park in well-lit parking spots and avoid any that are slick or ice packed. Use extra caution when walking on slippery surfaces, lean slightly forward and scoot your feet or take small steps.
  11. Don’t run or take large strides and slow down while rounding corners.

Winter weather adds more risk for injuries.

  • According to the National Safety Council, 25,000 slips and fall accidents occur daily in U.S.
  • More than 16,000 people die each year as a result of falls.
  • 1 in 5 emergency room visits are the result of a fall.
  • Approximately, slips, trips, and falls account for about 15-20% of all workers’ compensation costs!