Slips and falls are a loss trend we consistently see with our commercial accounts. These claims are from both frequency and severity of injuries. A few controls can certainly help a business owner minimize exposures. The priority safety controls for slips and falls in winter should be:
- Shovel at least a small part of the walk in front of the business as often as you can. Keeping even a small part of the sidewalk in front of the door bare of snow will minimize the amount of snow that will be tracked into the building. This alone can be one of the best ways to keep your floors dryer and minimize the time you need to take on the additional controls listed below.
- Have multiple heavy duty mats and change them often to keep them fairly dry.
- Use a wet vacuum to clean off mats to help them dry.
- If there is a lot of pedestrian traffic, use wet floor signs that are taller and easier to see. Place them near the aisles, but don’t create a tripping hazard with them.
- If water starts to spread too far, dry mop as soon as you can.
Once the snow has stopped, promptly shovel to minimize snow from being packed on the sidewalk or in your parking lot. Use salt and sand to keep packed snow and ice to a minimum.
Don’t forget to do some checking outside during nice weather. Snow will melt and refreeze, and those problem areas need to be promptly salted and sanded. Also, try to keep the snow piles away from your heavy pedestrian traffic areas.
We live in a litigious society. These few safety/risk management controls can do a lot to keep an accident from happening and to keep you from having to deal with claims or lawsuits.
Senior Loss Control Representative