How to stay safe from workplace injuries during the winter season

Aug 27 2018

One of the biggest threats to workplace safety during the winter months in Colorado is ice. Whether you are driving or need to walk where there could be ice, winter conditions can create a perfect scenario for workplace injuries.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2014, workplace injuries involving ice, snow or sleet accounted for 42,480 injuries and illnesses that resulted in at least one day of missed work. To make sure you stay safe while on the job during the winter months, you may want to keep these things in mind.

Slip and falls in winter

Every type of surface can become slippery in winter. You should pay close attention to ladders, utility poles, scaffolding and machinery. Even the area around doors where people enter and exit from the outside can easily become slippery. Be mindful of these slick spots and use chemicals to de-ice certain areas if needed.

Most slip in falls in the winter happen in parking lots, driveways and walkways. Take extra pre-caution in these areas and try to wear the best non-slip footwear you can.

Most injuries from a slip or fall on snow can result in anything from minor bruises and abrasions to broken bones and spinal cord injuries. However, strains and sprains are the most common and can keep you out of work for a significant time.

Falling ice

Ice falling from tall structures has been known to cause serious injury and even be deadly. You should be aware of ice falling from things like cell towers, high rise buildings and highway overpasses. Just a half-pound icicle can fall at up to 90 mph.

Driving in the winter

An important thing to keep in mind when driving in the winter is stopping distance. The distance to stop while on ice is nearly 10 times more distance than when stopping on a dry surface. The other thing to watch out for is black ice. Black ice is virtually impossible to see and can be very hazardous for drivers and for walkers alike.

As soon as winter begins, you may want to begin to take precautions for staying safe. One of the most crucial ways to stay safe in the winter is to just be aware of dangerous conditions where there could be snow and ice.