Posts Tagged ‘shoveling’

Winterize your workplace for safety

Monday, December 27th, 2004

After a harrowing drive home in a snowstorm last night, I was reminded about the importance of “winterizing” both at home and at work. For employers, snow and ice management require preplanning. Slips, falls and back strains are among some of the more common hazards; injuries from snow-removal equipment, falls from roofs, and hypothermia/frostbite are other common injuries that can befall your workers in the winter. Here are some general winter safety tips:

  • Remove snow from all walkways in and around the building. Use salt and sand.
  • Watch for thawing and refreezing conditions. Second and third applications of sand or salt may be needed on walkways.
  • Put mats and rugs inside entryways – wet floors from snow tracked indoors can be a hazard.
  • Train employees in the use of snow removal equipment. Ensure that safety policies strictly forbid any disablement of snowblower safety mechanisms.
  • Make sure that snow removal from roofs and gutters is done safety.
  • If you hire private contractors to remove snow or ice, check to ensure insurance coverages.
  • Make sure staff who are working outside are dressed properly to withstand the cold.
  • Encourage employees who drive to and from work to carry winter emergency kits in their cars, including blankets, gloves, socks, shovels, water, snacks, and a flashlight.
  • Here are some additonal resources.
    Shovel snow safely
    FEMA Winter preparedness safety tips
    FEMA winter driving
    Hypothermia: a cold weather hazard
    CCOHS: Working in the cold
    Safety during snow removal
    WCB issues caution over removal of snow from roofs