Safety Matters: Ice, Ice Baby

Provided by Accident Fund

When it comes to preventing slips and falls during the winter, a little effort can make a big impact. By using ice-melt on sidewalks, parking lots and other frequently traveled areas, you can help protect your employees even on the most blustery of winter days.
Here are 10 tips to keep in mind when it comes to salt, ice-melt and preventing slips on ice:

  1. There’s a science to ice-melt compounds: Throwing more on ice won’t necessarily help it melt faster.
  2. Watch the temperature: Ice-melt compounds are only effective down to specific temperature limits that vary by product. The temperature of the air, pavement and type of product used will affect the rate at which ice melts.
  3. Easy access to salt: Place salt buckets or containers near main entrances so these high-traffic areas can remain less susceptible to falls.
  4. Black ice warning: As snow melts during the day, it can refreeze into a micro-thin sheet of ice nearly invisible to the eye.
  5. Go slow on ice and snow: The short walk to and from the building may provide a false sense of security. Freezing rain and black ice can make outdoor walking conditions precarious.
  6. Snow can be sneaky: Light, fluffy snow may weigh as little as five pounds per cubic foot, but compact, wet snow can weigh as much as 20 pounds.
  7. Stretch out: Before shoveling or salting, stretch your lower back, arms, legs, hamstrings and shoulder muscles to help avoid strains.
  8. Form matters: When shoveling or lifting salt containers, keep your back straight and bend your knees, keeping them shoulder-width apart and lift with the legs, not your back.
  9. Footwear: Boots with deep treads are preferred over shoes with smooth, non-treaded leather or hard plastic soles and those with high heels.
  10. Change of shoes: Wear winter footwear that provides adequate slip resistance outdoors, then change into regular footwear once indoors.
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