An expansive area of snow and ice is expected to develop along an approximately 2,000-mile-long swath of the country. By Wednesday night, wintry hazards are possible from Texas and Arkansas into the Ohio Valley. In the blizzard-struck Northeast, rain may collide with snow from a recent blizzard to create standing water likely to create slippery, frozen surfaces Thursday and Friday.
As this extreme winter weather targets the U.S., facility managers with employees on site can avoid costly and preventable workforce injuries by taking simple steps to prevent slips, trips, and falls, according to The MEMIC Group, specialists in workplace safety.
“Unless safety managers want history to repeat itself this Groundhog Day, there are some easy ways to mitigate the risk prior to, during, and after this and any similar winter weather event,” said MEMIC Vice President of Loss Control Karl Siegfried. “Forward thinking businesses need to put preventing weather-related injuries top of mind now, especially in a time of staffing and labor shortages, to avoid costly injuries that could idle their operations.”
Facility managers from Maine to Western New York State should regularly sand and salt all sidewalks, pathways, stairs, and parking lots (locations most often cited in slip-and-fall injuries), use extra caution while driving and walking, and wear appropriate footwear and traction enhancers. Additional safety tips on preventing slip-and-fall injuries are available at the MEMIC Winter Safety page.
Slips, trips and falls continue to be one of the costliest and most preventable forms of workplace injury. According to The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), slips, trips and falls were collectively the third leading cause of work-related injuries treated in an emergency department in 2019. NIOSH said 27 percent of 888,220 nonfatal work injuries resulting in days away from work in 2019 were related to slips, trips and falls.
“Winter injuries can be prevented with simple sand, salt, and shoveling,” Siegfried said. “And, above all else, with caution.”