How to Prevent Workplace Slips and Trips in Winter

Slip and trip accidents are one of the leading causes of injuries in the workplace – a problem that is considerably more prevalent in the winter months. You can take some simple budget-friendly steps to minimise the risks in your workplace – here is our guide.

De-icing

Outdoors, your main problems are going to be ice and snow. You should be using de-icing salt and/or grit around your outdoors areas to get rid of ice: simply spread the substance around high traffic areas, steps, doorways and the entrance/exit of your car park, and the ice will melt quickly. You can even pre-empt the problem, by spreading grit/salt around at the end of the day if you believe there will be a cold snap overnight; the substances will make it difficult for ice to even form. For larger areas, rather than using the classic shovel method, you can spread your grit and salt quickly and evenly with a dedicated grit spreader – essentially a hopper on wheels that you push, pull or even tow behind a small vehicle to get maximum coverage with minimum effort.

To make sure you always have salt and grit to hand, use a grit bin. These are built to be kept outside (ideally, situate your grit bin where you need your grit the most) and can keep the substances dry and ready for use throughout the year, meaning you don’t have to panic buy when winter approaches and stocks inevitably run short.

Plough

To remove heavier snowfall, you can use a shovel. This is time and labour-intensive, however, especially if you have a decent-sized car park and/or walkways. The faster and easier method is to use a snow plough attachment for your forklift truck (if you have a forklift and trained driver, of course). These attachments fit neatly over the forks of your truck to turn your lifting equipment into a snow-clearing machine.

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Indoors

Inside your premises, the main winter-related slip risks will be water and leaves. Employees, customers and visitors will all track moisture into your building on the soles of their shoes – it is unavoidable. You can counter this by upgrading your entrance mats, however. Whereas in the summer you might be able to get away with one, simple microfibre mat at the doorway for pedestrians to clean their feet on, in the winter you need to be a bit more focused. Outside the main entrance, lay a rubber ‘scraper’ mat – it will take off the bulk of any dirt or detritus from the soles of the shoes. Moving inwards, just inside the door you need an absorbent mat that has some ribbing; this will start the moisture-removal process and take any last dirt/leaves/etc from shoes. Adjacent to this you can go back to your microfibre matting – you’re looking for maximum absorption at this point, to fully dry the shoes. Using this method will ensure that no slippery spots appear in your foyer/entrance, and keep the building floors a little cleaner.

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