When the snow starts falling and ice begins forming, you are at a higher risk of slipping and falling at your workplace. Slip-and-fall injuries can easily cause a traumatic brain injury, fracture or spinal cord injury. A winter workplace injury like this can cause you to lose income and rack up hospital bills.
Your employer has a responsibility for making sure you are safe at your workplace at all times, but there are special precautions during the winter months. Read below to learn what your employer should do to protect you from slipping and falling on snow and ice.
1. Be ready with supplies
The owner of or manager at your workplace should prepare for inclement weather conditions. Essential materials such as ice scrapers, snow shovels, kitty litter, salt and de-icer should be on hand. If your employer does not have these supplies, he or she is probably not very mindful of making the workplace a safe place for you.
2. Clear walking areas
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, your employer should be proactive about clearing walkways, entryways, sidewalks and parking lots of snow and ice as soon as possible to prevent slips. Your employer should especially be mindful of potholes, cracks, curbs, stairs and any uneven surfaces.
3. Post warning signs
When there is a potential hazard due to snow or ice, your employer should strategically put warning signs near it. A simple wet floor sign or some pylons can save you from walking on a slippery surface and sustaining an injury.
4. Provide proper training
Your employer should prepare you for working in inclement weather. For example, he or she should advise you to wear appropriate footwear such as boots that are water-resistant with rubber tread. If applicable, you should receive training on techniques to prevent injuries, such as walking slower and with shorter steps on icy walkways.