3 Common Business Winter Slip and Fall Risks

The most mundane accidents are often the most common. Falls account for a sizeable percentage of all workplace injuries and, according to OSHA, fall protection is the most cited safety standard violation. From shorter days to freezing temperatures, there are a number of seasonal issues that could increase the risk of a slip or fall on the premises, especially for businesses that fail to make workplace and environmental safety a top priority.

Ice and Snow

Frozen precipitation can be a major hazard. A buildup of ice or snow can drastically increase the risk of a slip-and-fall accident occurring on exterior sidewalks, exposed walkways or even fender benders and low-speed collisions within the parking lot. Awnings and other coverings, as well as efforts to shovel excess snow or to salt high-traffic walkways, help to minimize the risk of an on-site accident.

Machinery and Equipment

Freezing temperatures can also impact the machinery and industrial equipment that businesses make use of during their everyday operations. A leaking gasket or a broken seal can introduce moisture into an environment where it can quickly begin to freeze and form ice. Performing periodic inspections of all equipment and ensuring that all machinery is kept within a climate-controlled environment can help to eliminate many potential safety hazards.

Decreased Visibility

Poor visibility is a common cause or contributing factor for any number of workplace mishaps, accidents or other incidents that may result in injury. Visibility can be especially bad during the winter months when daylight hours are reduced. Assessing and inspecting the state of all exterior lights can often be done for much less than the costs needed to deal with a personal injury attorney like Prediletto, Halpin, Scharnikow & Nelson, P.S. should an accident occur. Taking steps to provide a safe and well-lit environment for all staff, associates and visitors is a concern that no business or property owner can afford to take lightly.

Maintaining a Safe Workplace Environment

While seasonal issues may influence any number of factors which could lead to an accident within the workplace, they are by no means that only issue that employers may be required to address. Environmental maintenance, policies governing equipment usage or inspection of the surrounding environment can also help to minimize the risk of a fall or other mishap. Making safety a priority and taking steps to address any issues that may arise helps to ensure that businesses are less likely to be faced with consequences of an on-the-job injury or other accident that may occur within the workplace.

Author information: Kare Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max. You can find Kara on Facebook and Twitter.

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