Stay a step ahead — Preventing slips and falls at your business

Slip and fall accidents rank in the top five causes of injury in any season, and they are prevalent during the winter months because of wet or icy floors. Here’s how you can help prevent these types of accidents in the workplace for visitors and employees.

Keep it dry 
Black ice is barely visible to a person’s eye but can form in minutes and makes walking or driving dangerous. These conditions are preventable, so take the following measures:
  • Keep a dry mop near employee and visitor entrances. 
  • Clean, mop, and dry floors continually. 
  • Place non-slip absorbent mats at entrances. 

Clear away snow and ice 
Eliminating slippery surfaces can significantly reduce injuries, so be sure to:
  • Keep adequate supplies of snow and ice removal tools in readily accessible areas. 
  • Shovel and salt as often as necessary to keep walkways clean and dry. 
  • Watch for areas where ice tends to form and remove ice accumulations promptly. 
  • Before cold weather arrives, verify your contract with a snow removal company to keep your parking lots clear of snow and ice. Confirm they are ready to provide service. 
  • Limit walking to designated walkways as much as possible, and discourage taking shortcuts over snow piles and in areas where snow and ice removal is not feasible. 
  • Place quality, beveled edge mats in walking areas subject to water or snow accumulation. Change mats regularly to ensure those in place are dry and serviceable. 
  • Apply a slip-resistant floor treatment in shop areas. 
  • Check which ice or snow-melting chemicals are appropriate for the temperature and surfaces where they will be used, and keep a Material Safety Data Sheet on site in case of an emergency. 
  • Assign hourly checks of walkways. 

Emphasize attentive work habits 
Even when a safe environment is provided, workers need to follow guidelines and take personal responsibility to reduce winter slips and falls:
  • Wear shoes or boots specifically designed to provide traction on wet, slippery surfaces. 
  • Take short steps to maintain your center of balance. 
  • Walk slowly and never run on snow or ice-covered surfaces. 
  • When entering and/or exiting vehicles, use the vehicle for support using three points of contact at all times. 
  • When entering a building, remove snow and water from footwear, which can create wet, slippery conditions indoors.