This post was written by Josh Hancey, Safety Director and member of the Risk Management team at Helpside.   

Winter means there is typically a large increase in the number of slips, trips, falls, motor vehicle accidents, and other cold weather related injuries. Employers need to be equipped with the knowledge of assisting their employees in injury prevention and ensuring a safe working environment for everyone.  

Here are 3 winter safety tips for employees:  

Slips, trips, and falls  

20% of all work-related injuries are caused by slips, trips, and falls, and more than 500,000 falls require hospital care. Most employees fall due to black ice or wet surfaces.  

To avoid falling, do not put your hands in your pockets while walking. This can prevent you from gaining balance if you were to slip. It is also important to wear slip resistance shoes. Search for shoes featuring softer rubber soles, an interlocked tread pattern to effectively disperse water or liquids, and designs that maximize surface contact. Try on the shoes before you buy them to ensure they are slip resistant.   

Driving  

On average, around 562,182 Americans get into a winter weather-related car crash each year. When driving in winter weather conditions, inspect your vehicle frequently (tread on tires, headlights, windshield wiper fluid, etc.). It can also be helpful to always keep a full tank of gas in case you get caught in a snowstorm.  

While driving, be sure to press on the gas and brake slowly. Avoid any jerky or sudden movements and do not use cruise control because your car will maintain the same speed even when hitting ice.  

It is common for cars to brake frequently during winter weather, so try to increase the following distance to around 8-10 seconds or longer.  

Keep warm  

To help prevent hypothermia, wear proper footwear, gloves, and clothing. Hypothermia occurs when your body temperature is below 95 degrees and loses heat faster than it can produce it. Signs of hypothermia include shivering, slow breathing, slurred speech, and confusion.  

It is best to wear warm clothes when working outside during the winter to help regulate your body temperature and prevent hypothermia. If you suspect someone is suffering from hypothermia, call 911 immediately and remove any wet clothes to help keep them warm.   

Winter weather creates several safety challenges for employees, so it is important for employees to be educated on how to prevent potential injuries.  

 

Download our Winter Safety Infographic to share with your employees. 

Download Winter Safety Infographic   

If you have any questions regarding safety, reach out to us at service@helpside.com.