WalkSafe Update: Protect Against Falls from Elevations Year-Round
Mother Nature is delivering her winter wallop this week to many states who typically don’t have to worry about significant snow and ice removal. Areas of Arkansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia not only saw several inches of snow during the last 48 hours, but also had to contend with up to a quarter-inch of ice in some places.
Though people in these regions were urged to stay home, individuals who work in hospitals, long-term care facilities and social service organizations are often called upon to deliver their services no matter what the weather brings. Thus, it’s important that these types of businesses take whatever precautions they can to ensure that their employees avoid slips and falls as they provide care for others and United Heartland’s WalkSafe campaign provides all the tools and information to help them do just that.
The aftermath of such winter weather has also forced many businesses to attempt to remove snow from their roofs due to the risk of collapse as well as clear downspouts to prevent or reduce water damage. If businesses attempt to complete such tasks on their own, instead of hiring someone trained to perform this type of work, they can put their employees at risk from falls from elevations. There have even been fatalities when individuals attempting to clear snow from roofs fell through skylight windows.
In addition to our WalkSafe campaign materials, which address this issue and also contain information on effective snow and ice removal programs, how to travel safe when working off premises and salting and surface treatments, OSHA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have two publications available that examine this issue in greater depth:
- OSHA: “Falls and Other Hazards to Workers Removing Snow from Rooftops and Other Elevated Surfaces”
- CDC: “Preventing Falls of Workers through Skylights and Roof and Floor Openings”
Winter isn’t the only time of year when these injuries can occur. These types of injuries can also happen when doing basic tasks, such as getting in and out of a truck, climbing a ladder or working in elevated areas. By addressing falls from elevations, you can help to protect your employees from potential injuries that can occur year-round.
If you know of others at your organization who would be interested in receiving updates on our WalkSafe campaign, please forward them this email or encourage them to subscribe to our monthly Risk Connection e-blasts here. As always, please contact your loss control representative with questions or call us at 1-800-258-2667.