The cold weather season can be a particularly hazardous time for employers and employees. According to the Accident Fund Insurance Company of America and United Heartland, during the winter, slips and falls represent one-third of all workers’ compensation claims in Michigan.
This winter, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) and the Michigan Workers’ Compensation Agency (WCA) are teaming up to remind employers and employees to exercise caution when working in the cold and snow.
“Every employer should have an effective safety and health management system in place to protect its most valuable asset: its employees,” said MIOSHA Director Martha Yoder. “As part of this program, they should prepare for winter conditions and provide helpful information to their employees on how to avoid injury and illness.”
Ensuring workplace safety makes good business sense, too.
“Worker injuries can negatively affect a business’s bottom line, resulting in increased workers’ compensation and insurance costs, overtime, and lost work days for employees,” said WCA Director Kevin Elsenheimer. “By taking the proper safety precautions this winter, job providers can avoid nasty slips and falls that will cost them in the future.”
Lower workers' comp costs save Michigan employers on overhead expenses and give them additional resources to grow their business, hire new workers and increase their employees’ salaries.
- Keep all walkways cleared of ice and snow.
- Have de-icing products handy for hard-to-remove ice or snow.
- Make sure all walkways and passageways are clearly marked and well-lit.
- Be careful of slippery surfaces inside buildings.
- Wear slip-resistant footwear.
- Practice safe walking on slippery surfaces by taking slow, small steps.
- Avoid carrying heavy loads that may offset your balance.
- Clearly mark or barricade hazardous areas.
- Wear sunglasses on sunny days to lessen winter glare.
- Take extra precaution when entering and exiting vehicles.
- Know the symptoms of frostbite and the first aid steps to address it.
For more information and tips on winter workplace safety and health, see: