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Working In Icy Conditions

With cold weather now upon us, icy conditions on the jobsite are almost a guarantee. Walking between locations, into and out of buildings, and across parking lots, requires special care and attention – especially if you’re also carrying tools or other equipment. It is very important that workers are constantly aware of slippery surfaces and follow the following tips:

Wear Weather and Task Appropriate Clothing:

  • Wear a heavy, bulky jacket or sweater to cushion your landing

  • Don’t wear shoes or boots with worn out or slippery soles

  • Wear a bright hat or reflective clothing when working in areas shared by mobile equipment

  • Ensure that you are protected from the cold, but can still see and hear things happening around you

Walk Safely:

  • Assume all dark and wet surfaces are icy

  • Walk like penguin, feet slightly turned outwards, bent knees, shuffling or taking short steps slowly

  • Extend your arms outward for additional balance

  • Avoid leaving designated walkways that may contain hidden slip hazards

  • Look ahead while you walk – you may have veer off a pathway slightly to avoid ice or snow piles

  • Watch where you are stepping and walk slowly

  • Always hold handrails when using outdoor stairways

  • Kick off snow and water from your boots before entering buildings

  • Be aware that the entrances to buildings will be just as slippery as ice, as well as interior stairways

If You Fall:

  • Try to fall onto a fleshy part of your body, like your side

  • Avoid stopping your fall with your hands, and try not to land on your knees, wrists, or spine

  • Do not attempt to catch or hang on to dropped tools or equipment

  • Try and relax yourself as you fall, this will result in less serious injuries

  • If you’re falling backwards, tuck your chin into your chest so your head won’t hit the ground

If a fall does occur, report it immediately to your supervisor, as you may have sustained an injury that won’t be evident until later.

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