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Keeping Your Workforce Safe and Healthy this Winter

Toby Graham /

Winter weather has made an entrance and the holidays are approaching. Is your workforce your prepared for the winter weather?  Here are some winter weather tips to keep your folks safe.

Preventing Slips Trips and Falls

Here’s a winter scenario for you: During an accident review at a safety committee, you discuss a recent injury where an employee slipped and fell on the ice while walking to their car.

The first questions to ask would be, did you make a serious attempt to get to the root cause of that slip?  All too often we say to ourselves, “We plowed the lot and spread salt.  Is there much more we can do?”  The answer is usually yes. Here are some recommendations to help you eliminate winter slips trips and falls.

Develop a Footwear Policy

  • Develop a written policy that will go in the company handbook and be made available to all employees. (Because tennis shoes do not make for good snow shoes.)
  • Personally communicate the policy to each employee.  This in-person communication provides employees the chance to voice their concerns about the policy and a chance to ask questions.
  • Ensure employee sign-off, confirming that the policy was communicated clearly to every employee. This is helpful if you need to consider discipline for a violation.

Inspect Footwear

  • Ensure your employees wear appropriate footwear for the conditions outside.
  • Conduct department inspections to make sure employees have the proper footwear.  Use an employee roster and check off each member that owns the proper footwear. This will ensure them that the company is taking the policy seriously as any injury can affect everyone.
  • Reference your PPE plan for the proper protocol if an employee does not own the proper footwear, (Keep in mind a $40 pair of boots cost much less than surgery after a fall.)
  • Consider providing over-the-shoe snow spikes, which do great in the snow. However, you must take them off as soon as you get inside or you could slip very easily on a smooth concrete floor.

Illness Prevention

If we’ve learned anything over the last few months, it’s the toll illness can take on your workplace. So, let’s make sure we do everything we can to protect our workforce. Here are some tips we’ve learned from a long COVID-19 slog.

  • Develop an Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan. KPA’s here to help with this one – contact KPA if you’re interested in learning about our Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan templates
  • Practice proper workplace hygiene. This includes washing hands for 20 seconds, avoid touching your eyes and face, sneezing into your elbow; and covering coughs
  • Increase cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitation. Wipe high touch surfaces, such as time clocks, throughout the workday
  • Reduce transmission. Have symptomatic employees stay home

That’s a lot to keep track of! But KPA’s here to help.

Trusted by 10,000+ clients, KPA solutions help companies improve safety and stay compliant.

KPA provides EHS and Workforce Compliance software and consulting services that help clients identify, remedy, and prevent problems across their enterprise. The combination of KPA’s software, consulting services, and award-winning training helps

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