With the weather getting cooler and snow expected to fall soon, it is important to consider slips, trips, and falls due to inclement weather and less-than-ideal conditions. While slips, trips, and falls remain a concern year-round, they require extra attention around the colder months.
Slips can happen on:
- Ice- and snow-covered ground.
- Low-traction flooring (especially when water is present), such as entrances/exits to buildings.
- Snow-covered tractor steps, and even bare tractor steps as metal becomes more slippery when cold and may be covered with a thin ice layer.
- Dry pavement with a thin layer of frost or ice that may or may not be visible when walking.
Trips will frequently occur in low lit areas, when debris or obstacles are present where they should not be (i.e., a power cord laying on the ground instead of hung up on the post), or when a Driver is distracted (i.e., texting while walking, or carrying objects that impede their path of vision). Both slips and trips can lead to falls, which can be either minor or serious.
When preparing for cooler weather and inevitable snowfalls, a few preventative measures can go a long way.
- Always carry a flashlight when working, and use it whenever the lighting is poor (dusk/dawn and night, areas in yard or near buildings with low lighting).
- Always assume the surface you are about to walk on is slippery. Pay attention to where you are going, scan the surface, and take shorter steps to keep your weight balanced over your feet.
- Always use 3 points of contact when entering or exiting the tractor or trailer. In the event of a slip, your other two points of contact may save you from a fall. Before grabbing onto a handle (i.e., the strap at the back of the trailer), give it a tug to make sure it is secured properly to hold your weight when entering and exiting from the unit.