Across America, many employees are injured each year by slipping and falling in or around their workplaces. During the winter, these risks are higher. Cold temperatures and slick, icy surfaces provide more opportunities for workers to lose their balance. This can happen on parking lots, sidewalks or indoors.
Your company’s workers compensation insurance can help cover employee losses should they sustain a fail. This includes compensation for lost time at work and medical bills.
Preventing these accidents, though, is more important. Here’s what to look for to do just that.
Recognize the Risks
Visualize the way your employees come to work each day. They get out of their vehicle and approach the building. Even if they walk less than 10 feet from their vehicle to the office entrance, those 10 feet of concrete, pavement, dirt or grass provide a significant slip-and-fall risk. The individual walks into the building. This floor could be wet due to outdoor conditions. He or she proceeds to enter into the work space. The moisture from his or her shoes comes with them. This presents additional risks.
Tips for Minimizing Risks
To reduce worker fall risks, focus on keeping surfaces as dry as possible. Here are some steps to do this during icy weather conditions.
- Hire a team to clean away any snow or ice build-up. Be sure the company does this frequently enough to reduce the pile up of snow or ice.
- If you must, by law, see to certain pathways before others. Take care of those areas first. Then expand your de-icing techniques to other areas as needed.
- Monitor floor conditions in the building. This is especially true in immediate doorways leading to the outdoors. This area can freeze up as well. This creates more ice.
- Workers handling business tasks outside need proper shoes. Discuss treads on shoes with employees. Look for products that can reduce slips on icy surfaces. Mark hazardous areas where employees should avoid.
- Keep carpets and mats clean and dry. No matter where they are in the business, keep them as clean as possible.
- State laws usually determine whether falls in parking lots are the responsibility of the company. However, most state laws say sidewalk falls are the company's responsibility.
These tips can help reduce worker falls due to wet conditions. However, this is an ongoing problem. Being consistent is essential. Notice areas where the problem continues to persist. Look for more extensive treatment and solutions for these areas. Improving drainage, for example, can help.
If you need workers' compensation insurance coverage, contact one of our agents today at 734-421-9900.
Also Read: Prevent Business Insurance Claims with These Risk Reduction Tips