Injuries due to slips and falls often occur, but they become even more prevalent during inclement weather. The recent snowfall across the commonwealth resulted in several injury claims due to slips and falls, and additional precipitation is imminent, including significant ice accumulations. KLC encourages everyone to stay safe by anticipating these unsafe conditions and remain vigilant by utilizing safe work practices, including:
- Use appropriate footwear that provides adequate traction. A slip occurs when there is too little friction between your footwear and the walking surface, so proper footwear rather than dress shoes is critical to prevent these injuries. Traction devices or non-slip shoe appliances are available in the marketplace that significantly improve contact with the walking surface.
- Walk cautiously, shorten your stride, and walk slowly.
- Pay attention to your surroundings and know your working conditions.
- Immediately clean up spills and leaks.
- Report hazardous conditions to a manager or supervisor.
- Ensure lighting conditions are appropriate for the work area.
- Use handrails on stairways where available.
- Law enforcement personnel should review their department’s pursuit policy to prevent injuries during foot pursuits.
- Avoid downed power lines caused by ice accumulation.
Vehicle accidents are currently the leading cause of work-related injuries to KLC-insured members. Hazardous road conditions involving snow and ice significantly increase this risk; therefore, the use of vehicles should be avoided when possible. If vehicle use is required, please use appropriate safe operating precautions, including:
- Significantly increase your following distance to at least 6 seconds.
- Drive slowly to account for lower traction. Do not make sudden movements.
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly. It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
- Focus only on the task of driving; do not become distracted by cell phones, radios, or other visual, cognitive, or manual distractions.
- Do not use cruise control.
- Check your wiper blades and windshield washer fluid.
- Conduct a pre-trip inspection of your vehicle, including tire pressure and lights.
Your safety and the safety of those you serve constitute our Loss Control mission. For additional information regarding defensive driving techniques, check out the KLC video gallery or contact your Loss Control representative. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also provides detailed safety information regarding winter weather hazards.