OSEA Safety Blog

Winter Safety

Wednesday, November 17, 2021 Jade Salzman

Winter Safety

Winter is quickly approaching, which means icy and snowy conditions are upon us. Winter weather can bring dangerous conditions to all. Winter preparedness is essential to protecting yourself and your employees. Falls involving ice, sleet or snow are one of the biggest risks people face during the winter months. In 2017 alone there were more than 20,000 occupational injuries related to ice, sleet, and snow. Some specific steps you can take to improve winter work safety include:

  • Inspecting your facilities (roof, plumbing, etc.)
  • Performing all required preventative maintenance and repairs
  • Keeping walkways well-lit and clearly marked
  • Ensuring you have a reliable person or contractor for snow removal
    • Making sure snow is removed before employee’s start reporting to work as well as making sure it is removed when employees are going home.
  • Maintaining an adequate supply of de-icing products
    • Not only supplying but also making sure that all walkways and parking lots are de-iced for employees coming in and out of work.
    • Rock salt + kitty litter = safer walkways
      • Rock salt helps melt the ice and kitty litter gives temporary traction
  • Encouraging employees to wear slip-resistant footwear and walk like a penguin when entering and leaving your office
    • Walk flat footed taking short, slow steps
    • Also reminding them they can wear more fashionable shoes once inside!
  • Placing absorbent mats at every entrance to prevent slips once employees are inside the building.

Some other winter safety tips include:

  • Don’t walk with your hands in your pockets.
    • Keeping your hands in your pockets increases the risk of falling or completely losing your balance if you slip
  • Mittens are better than gloves
    • Gloves are more fashionable, but your fingers touch in mittens allowing your hands to generate more body heat
  • Tin can + matches + candle + paper cup + snow = Drinking water
    • Should you get stuck in the middle of the road and run short on water, you can always melt some snow with the supplies above as part of your emergency kit.
  • Warm up your car
    • Warming up your car before driving helps reduce the moisture condensation on the inside
    • Ensure you don’t leave your vehicle running with the keys in it unattended.
  • ​​​​​​​ Shovel safely
    • Keep back straight
    • Lift with legs
    • Don’t turn or twist the body


6 Essential Winter Safety Tips for Employees - AlertMedia

Winter Workplace Safety Tips | Safety Services Company

Cold and Winter Weather-Related Workplace Injuries and Tips to Prevent Them -- Occupational Health & Safety (ohsonline.com)

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