How To Prevent Slipping on Ice This Winter

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2014 there were 34,860 workplace slip and fall injuries involving ice, sleet or snow that required at least one day away from work to recuperate.  At Society Insurance, the number one loss source for both workers compensation and liability claims are slips and falls.

There are important steps both employees and employers can take to mitigate the risks of walking on ice.

Employees: 5 Steps to Avoid Slipping on Ice

A high percentage of these occur in parking lots.  Obviously, during the winter months it is not uncommon for there to be snow and ice on parking lots, driveways, sidewalks or other walking surfaces.  So, here are a few tips to help you avoid injury when walking on these slippery surfaces.

  1. Wear boots or slip-resistant shoes. Walk slowly and watch the placement of your feet.
  2. Watch out for black ice which forms when wet pavement freezes. Black ice appears to just be a wet surface, but in reality is solid ice.
  3. Use your arms to keep yourself stable and balanced when walking on ice. (Think: walk like a penguin!) Don’t carry a lot of items with you; instead use a backpack if you can.
  4. Be mindful of where you park and be careful getting out of your car. You may be on top of a patch of ice.
  5. Use handrails whenever possible and watch the floors as you enter a building. Make sure you clean your feet on rugs or mats as the first few steps inside a building are the most dangerous.

Employers: 3 Steps to Prevent Slipping on Ice at Your Business

As a business or building owner, there are additional steps you should take to prevent your employees and customers from slipping on ice during the winter.

  1. Have a plan to remove snow and treat ice, either using a contractor or your own employees. Consider the following:
    • Plowing, shoveling and salting is scheduled for a time before employees report or the business opens for customers.
    • Keep a log of what was done and where; these can be important for defense of a claim.
    • If you use a contractor, have a written agreement that defines when they will treat your property.
    • Have a designated entrance for employees to use that will also be the first one cleared and salted. On heavy snow days, ask employees to not come in early, so you have time to complete your initial snow removal and salting.
  2. Identify areas that are subject to a freeze and thaw cycle. Where is there a puddle at noon which could be a sheet of ice at 5:00 p.m.? These areas are hazardous and should be checked and salted more often.
  3. Take a walk in the rain. Look for areas where downspouts are discharging water onto sidewalks or a common path of travel. Try to redirect this discharge to grassy areas or be sure to target them for extra treatment in winter to prevent slipping on ice.

Remember that prevention is the best way to stop slips and falls during the winter in icy conditions. Be sure to plow/shovel driveways, walkways and sidewalks. Salt high traffic areas if you think ice may form. If areas are especially hazardous, it is always a good idea to place a sign to warn others of the hazardous condition.

Additional Resources to Prevent the Hazards of Slipping on Ice:

-Mike Dilley

Author

Mike earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Safety Management from the University of Central Missouri. Over the past 30 years he has held various positions in Risk Control and Safety, Claims Adjusting and Agency and Sales Management with a variety of companies within the insurance industry. Mike has been with Society for almost two years as the Risk Control Representative responsible for Central and Southern Indiana.

Latest Articles

How Much Insurance Do You Need for Your Business?

When business owners look to purchase business insurance, they often ask, “how much insurance do I...

What To Know About Baffle Filters in Your Commercial Kitchen

Did you know that grease-producing kitchen cooking appliances must have UL-listed baffle filters...

Seven Essential Questions to Ask An Insurance Agent

Every industry comes with its own unique set of challenges when it comes to insurance, and the...

Five Examples of How to Start a Continuing Education Program

Continuing education (CE) comes in many different forms, depending on the industry. But one thing...

5 Meaningful Benefits to Attract Quality Employees

It’s no secret that the role benefits play in attracting quality employees is growing. Benefits...

HOW TO PREVENT CRIMES IN RESTAURANTS AND BARS

Restaurants and bars are often targets for robbery, burglary and theft. These businesses can ...

Why You Should Inspect Your Restaurant’s Seating

 Ensuring your restaurant seating is solid and safe is an often overlooked aspect of owning a...

Five of the Most Common Workplace Injuries for Young Workers

Young or newly hired employees are getting injured more often than older, more experienced...

How to File an Insurance Claim & What to Expect

In the event that somebody is injured or property gets damaged, it is of utmost importance to...

4 Ways to Improve Remote Offices

Remote work, also known as ‘work from home’ or telecommuting, has become increasingly...

Stay up to date with industry updates by subscribing to the Society Insurance blog!