How WalkSafe Made a Difference For This Health Care Customer


The old saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” In a similar vein, while United Heartland provides our WalkSafe campaign materials to customers each season, it still falls on them to take the initiative and utilize the tools, resources and information we provide.

For instance, Hancock County Health System in Iowa was determined to reduce the number of slips and falls in their parking lots. While they only had two or three a year, which didn’t always result in injuries, the potential remained. So they decided to create a defined plan for snow removal.

The first steps of the plan included:

  • Getting support from administration as this initiative had not been budgeted.
  • Ensuring the right people were on the committee.
  • Starting in advance of the winter season (they first met in September).
  • Using tools from the United Heartland website, including Create Your Own Campaign, the WalkSafe Implementation Guide and several of the safety posters.

Some of the activities that took place during their WalkSafe campaign included:

  • Conducting a kickoff meeting (with snacks!) where the campaign’s implementation was discussed.
  • Offering ice cleats to employees at a 50% discount.
  • Educating staff on what paths to use when entering the building, informing them of the order in which paths would be cleared and painting the areas that employees were to use.
  • Providing snow shovels and ice melt at all entrances and setting the expectation that employees could use these materials if necessary.
  • Emailing WalkSafe posters to employees on a weekly basis with key safety reminders and putting one poster by the time clock for the entire winter.

And the result?

  • Hancock County Health System reduced its slips and falls to just one for the year with no injuries reported.
  • Their team immediately took care of the area where the fall took place to avoid a repeat occurrence.
  • Employees took responsibility to keep the walkways clear.
  • The maintenance team was able to be part of the solution rather than getting blamed for slips and falls.

This shows how, when put into action, our WalkSafe campaign materials can truly make a difference for our policyholders. Make sure to check out all of our phases, but especially our materials relating to how best to communicate weather threats to employees, especially as conditions deteriorate. As shown above, communication can make all the difference when it comes to helping your employees avoid slips and falls in snowy or icy weather.

You can find our full arsenal of winter weather-related tools, from safety checklists to tips on smart phone apps and alerts, by visiting our WalkSafe site. If you haven’t already, please subscribe to our Risk Connection e-blasts, which provide important information related to WalkSafe topics and other useful safety tips.

Want to know more? If you’re a United Heartland customer, contact your loss control representative today. If you’re not a customer, find a UH agent near you!