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Winter’s Over! Time to Relax, Right? Wrong!

The season of icy parking lots, slippery sidewalks, and snowcovered doorsteps may be over but the danger of slips, trips, Slips.jpgand falls remains. Despite warmer temperatures, many workplace hazards exist that can cause serious employee injuries…even death.

Slips, trips, and falls that occur this time of year often happen because employees are not being as careful as they were during adverse weather conditions. For drivers, being attentive to the road ahead is one of the Essential 7 Driving Techniques for preventing vehicle crashes. Outside the vehicle, workers should apply similar principles to walking. Over the winter, freezing and thawing temperatures, icemelting chemicals, and the constant scraping of pavement from shoveling snow and ice can alter walking surfaces and catch the unsuspecting pedestrian off-guard.

Likewise, distractions can cause an injury as quick as a crash. According to a recent study by Ohio State University, talking on a cellphone, texting, and updating one’s social status while walking have increased with the advent of smartphones. In fact, the study also found that adults under 30, mainly those between the ages of 16 and 25, are most at risk for cell-phone related injuries while walking.

Here are seven tips for avoiding slips, trips, and falls in the workplace:

1. Scan ahead for obvious trip hazards, such as hoses, cords, open file drawers, loose gravel, and spilled liquids.

2. Walk around puddles. They could be deep!

3. Approach corners cautiously. Expect a hazard on the other side.

4. Slow down.

5. Avoid distractions. Stay focused on the task at hand.

6. Wear slip-resistant footwear.

7. Report dangerous conditions to management immediately and take action to communicate the hazard to others.

Reprinted with permission from Great West Casualty Company.

Is there something we can do to help promote health & wellness in your organization? Contact our Risk Management Specialist for more information!

Larry Barton

Risk Management Specialist | Joe Morten & Son, Inc.

O: 865.392.3777 | C: 865.771.9506

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