Preventing Slips and Falls in the Workplace
Aside from the colder temperatures, winter also brings along snow, icy surfaces, and slippery floors — which can all lead to a workplace accident. Understanding the risks of workplace injuries, which are heightened during winter months, is important to maintaining a safe environment for your employees, customers, and any other visitors to your business. Here at Bearingstar Insurance, we want to help, which is why we’ve put together these tips on dealing with winter weather and the risks that come with it.
Outside Your Office
Between distracted drivers or pedestrians and slippery conditions, parking lots can be especially hazardous in the winter. Keep these tips in mind to help employees and visitors stay safe:
- Make sure your parking lot is well-lit at all times.
- Hire a reliable snow removal service for your parking lot and review your contracts with them from a liability standpoint. The Snow Removal company should have specific times and instructions on when a lot needs to be cleared by (i.e. 7am).
- Make sure your parking lot is regularly salted in the winter to avoid icy surfaces from forming.
- Encourage employees to wear non-slip footwear/ice grippers over shoes. Ice grippers on your feet can help, especially if employees need to travel to customers and unknown parking lot conditions.
- Remind your employees to avoid distracted driving and walking as they exit your parking lot — things like texting, setting your GPS, or adjusting your music can be especially dangerous in busy parking lots.
Sidewalks and Walkways
Slips and falls are one of the most common workplace injuries, especially when snow and ice start to build up on sidewalks and entryways. To minimize the risk of slips and falls this winter, follow these tips:
- Keep walkways and entryways clear of ice and snow.
- Regularly treat sidewalks and entry ways with salt to keep ice from forming.
- Pay special attention to stairs to ensure they are clear of snow and ice.
- Routinely check for other winter hazards, like icicles forming along your roof, which can indicate a potential ice dam while also posing a serious safety threat to anyone passing below them.
Inside Your Building
Minimizing fall risks within your building should be a year-round initiative, but it becomes even more imperative during the cold winter months. Here are a few tips specifically designed to combat winter weather, along with a few suggestions you should always keep in mind.
- Set out non-slip mats at your entry ways to keep people from tracking snow into your building.
- If snow does gets tracked into your building, make sure to mop it up immediately and put out ‘Wet Floor’ signs to alert people to the fact that the floor might be slippery.
- Keep your staircases clean, especially in the winter when your employees will track in snow, mud, and salt. Make sure your staircases are regularly cleaned and kept dry.
- Make sure office furniture doesn’t obstruct pathways through your workspace.
- Ensure that wires, cables, and cords are neatly arranged so that people do not trip over them. Look to install outlets to avoid wires stretching across the floor (i.e. conference room computers and phones).
- Make sure staircases are well-lit and clear of clutter.
- Check the handrails in your staircases to make sure they are sturdy and supportive. Install handrails if you don’t have them.
Protect Your Business With the Right Insurance
While it may be impossible to fully eliminate the risk of a fall in your office, having the right commercial insurance policies in place can help you deal with the aftermath of an accident. When you work with a local Bearingstar Insurance agent, we take the time to get to know you and your business and will work closely with you to ensure your policies fit both your needs and the unique risks your business faces.
If you’re looking for more guidance on minimizing fall risks in your office or protecting your business with the right commercial insurance policies, a local Bearingstar agent is here to help. Visit our website to connect with one today: http://bit.ly/2Kdp2vm