Manufacturing Safety for Manitoba

Winter is Coming! Be Ready to Fight Back Against Slips, Trips and Falls.

Winter is Coming! Be Ready to Fight Back Against Slips, Trips and Falls.

Posted on November 4, 2021

By Valerius Hiebert, Safety Trainer

As the temperatures begin dropping, leaves start falling and frosted windshields on vehicles become more common in the morning, we begin to realize that winter is fast approaching. It’s not the “White Walkers” we need to watch out for, as in Game of Thrones, but rather the icy, wet and slushy surfaces in our parking lots, stairs and paths.

Fittingly, November is Fall Prevention month. According to Manitoba workplace injury statistics, the most common lost time injuries come from falls related to slips and trips. In fact, one out of every five injuries reported to the Workers Compensation Board were related to slips, trips or falls in 2017. Slip and trip injuries can have devastating impacts, such as fractures, concussions, etc. They don’t just happen to seniors, but all age groups.

 

What are ways to prevent slips and trips in our workplace?

Be Prepared:

Don’t get caught by surprise! Winter is fast approaching. It’s time to prepare your shovels, brooms and buckets of sand or salt ready by the exit doors. Good housekeeping is the most effective way to reduce or eliminate the risk of falls. Other preparations include:

  • Ensuring your outdoor workers have footwear, shoe covers or boots that provide traction on snow and ice. Treat winter footwear as getting ready a set of winter tires for your vehicle.
  • Posting awareness signage at exit doors that will remind workers of slip and trip hazards and prevention methods (e.g., walking like a penguin).
  • Ensuring everyone in the workplace is aware that they are responsible for their own safety as well as the safety of others regarding slip and trip hazards. This can be done by addressing a slip and trip concern as soon as it’s observed and through toolbox talks meetings.

Toolbox Talks Tips:

  • Walk like a penguin. Take short steps and point your feet out slightly to increase your stability (shuffling). Keep your hands out of your pockets and wear gloves to increase your balance.
  • If you see a slip or trip hazard, fix it. Don’t wait for someone else to put sand or salt on the ice by the exit door.
  • Report slip and trip hazards to your supervisor.
  • Ensure to get a firm grip and use 3-point contact while stepping into or out of your vehicle or powered mobile equipment.
  • Use handrails where available.
  • Reduce the impact of slips and trips by falling sideways, bending your knees if possible, and using your hands to protect your head.

 

As the weather conditions change, new safety challenges arise. Made Safe is here to help you with these challenges and to answer any questions or concerns you may have. For more information or resources on how to implement safety practices to reduce slips, trips and falls in your workplace, please contact us at info@madesafe.ca.

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