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Category Archives: Ice Cleats

End of Ice Cleat Season

flowers in snowIt took a while, but all traces of snow and ice are gone from the parking lots, sidewalks, driveways, and loading docks of the lower 48. That means it’s finally time to put away ice cleats, grips, and other personal traction devices until winter returns and your employees need them again. But instead of simply collecting ice cleats in a box or stuffing them in a supply closet for months on end, take a few minutes to do the following:

  • Inspect each traction device for unusual wear or damage. Be on the lookout for cracked, worn, or rusted studs, over-stretched elastic, broken links, and similar problems.
  • Immediately repair or replace damaged ice cleats with equivalent products from CozyWinters. Attending to known issues now instead of waiting until next winter will ensure your employee safety gear is ready for immediate use in the event of an early or unexpected storm.
  • Consider stocking up on individual replacement spikes and studs so substitutions can be made onsite without any downtime or lost productivity.
  • Store ice cleats and traction devices on a flat, even surface to help them keep their shape. Avoid rolling, bunching, or folding these products for long-term storage.

Ice cleats, stabilizers, and grips are essential to outdoor employee safety in the winter and other times of inclement weather. So extend the useful life of each pair of YakTrax, WinterGrips, Get-a-Grip, or MonsterGrip cleats you own by addressing potential problems early and following the end-of-season storage tips listed above.

How to Minimize Slips and Falls this Winter

icy-sidewalk-caution-signThe calendar now says March, but that doesn’t mean the dangers associated with winter weather have suddenly vanished. Many parts of the country remain covered by snow and ice, so the risks of slip and fall accidents are still out there.

In fact, this time of year could be even more dangerous for pedestrians than the middle of January or February. That’s because people tend to let down their guard when they think spring is on the way, thus leaving themselves vulnerable to ice-induced tumbles. In addition, property owners might not be as attentive to sidewalks and parking lots in March as they are during the height of winter, so ice and snow are often left on the ground for longer periods.

To help minimize your own risk of slipping and falling in the coming weeks before spring sets in for good, keep these useful tips in mind whenever you’re walking outside:

  • Walk slowly across uneven pavement or on surfaces covered with snow and ice. Use handrails where available, particularly when going up or down stairs.
  • When crossing treacherous ground, maintain a low center of gravity by keeping your hands out of your pockets, bending your knees a bit, and positioning your torso over your feet. Take very short steps and be sure to stop periodically to prevent momentum from carrying you too fast.
  • As frequently as possible, try to wear nonslip shoes or boots that have some kind of traction on their soles. When dress shoes or other smooth-soled footwear is required, consider using an easy on/off traction device like the WinterGrips Ice Cleats from CozyWinters for extra grip and stability.
  • Avoid loading both arms with heavy bags, packages, or other bulky items. Doing so not only throws off your balance, but also prevents you from grabbing onto handrails or breaking your fall if you slip.
  • Use extra caution when climbing in and out of vehicles, as the spaces between parked cars are often left untouched by snow shovels and plows.
  • If you feel yourself falling, make an effort to land on “softer” parts of your body (such as your side or butt) instead of your wrists, knees, or other bony areas.

Winter is not over just yet, so walking outdoors requires that you be extra aware of the potential dangers around you. Take these precautions to minimize the chances of slipping and falling in the late stages of the season.

Ice Safety for Businesses

ice safety for businessWhen it comes to ice safety in the winter, business owners have to worry about more than just the possibility of employee slip-and-falls. They also have to worry about the possibility of customers, vendors, and other visitors getting injured on the premises due to slippery conditions.

In many municipalities across the country, property owners are legally obligated to keep walkways, driveways, and sidewalks clear of snow and ice. Failure to do so could result in costly litigation should a non-employee sustain an injury, which is why it’s a good idea to take the following precautions:

  • Carefully monitor the weather forecast so you’ll always be prepared to deal with heavy snow and freezing temperatures. Gas up the snow blower, have extra shovels on hand, and stock up on rock salt ahead of impending storms.
  • Make it a habit to inspect and clear your most heavily trafficked walkways on a daily basis. Examine the concrete or asphalt for bulges, cracks, and other abnormalities, and either fix the problem immediately or block off the area until the weather permits you to make repairs.
  • Don’t forget to check handrails and guardrails to ensure they are sturdy enough to act as a stabilizing aid for pedestrians. Again, replace or repair as needed, and keep the tops clear of ice and snow.
  • Provide extra lighting in parking lots, walkways, and entryways to compensate for the shortened daylight hours of winter.
  • Keep your vestibule, lobby, and hallways dry by laying out rubber mats and carpets to trap snow, sleet, and ice from visitors’ For best results, safety experts recommend extending the mats at least 15 to 20 feet from the doorway into the building.

While business owners can compel employees to adhere to winter safety rules, and supply them with ice cleats, it’s simply not possible to force visitors to exercise caution or wear traction devices. Nevertheless, you are on the hook for everyone’s safety and well-being, so help prevent accidents by taking the steps listed here.

How to Enforce Employee Safety

Now that you’re committed to making employee safety a priority this year, the next step is to actually enforce the rules. This effort will likely be met with resistance and more than a bit of grumbling from employees—especially if laxity had been a big part of the prevailing culture—but is a quick and effective way to promote the sought-after changes. Here’s how to get started:

  • enforce employee safetySpell out all safety rules and regulations in the employee handbook or in a separate document, and distribute the materials to all personnel. Require employees to sign a document stating that they have read the rules and agree to abide by them.
  • Update the company’s safety rules annually or whenever new equipment or procedures are introduced.
  • Post the most critical safety rules on signs in break rooms, locker rooms, the cafeteria, and other areas where employees tend to congregate.
  • Have clearly articulated consequences for not following safety rules (e.g. a verbal warning for the first offense, a written warning for the second offense, etc.) so employees understand the immediate repercussions of noncompliance.
  • Provide supervisors, managers, and others in positions of authority with guidelines on when and how to issue warnings for safety violations, as well as extra training on how to apply the rules in a fair and consistent manner.
  • Incentivize the process of developing good safety habits by offering small rewards, such as free coffee and donuts at breakfast or a pizza party at lunch, when certain milestones are reached. Use a large signboard to keep track of the number of days without an accident and hang it in a prominent location to stoke motivation.

Even the sincerest commitment to employee safety will ultimately ring hollow in the absence of a systematic way to enforce all policies. Use the above tips to promote compliance with safety rules and change employee attitudes and behaviors in your workplace.

Tips for Making Employee Safety a Priority in the New Year

icy stairsIt’s no secret that slip-and-fall accidents are a leading cause of employee absence and decreased productivity in the workplace or that these mishaps are also responsible for an overwhelming percentage of annual worker’s compensation claims. Data and statistics supporting these statements are widely available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, OSHA, and other organizations, and the incident files in your own HR department probably tell a similar tale.

With all that you know about the dangers of slick surfaces in the workplace, it’s time to get serious about enforcing employee compliance with safety rules. Here are some effective tips for making workplace safety a priority in the New Year:

  • Do whatever is necessary to ensure the safety program has the full support of management. If top-level employees continually look the other way and fail to enforce the rules, then unsafe behaviors are not likely to change.
  • Rewrite the company’s safety manuals or employee handbooks to make important safety protocols, such as wearing ice cleats in winter, mandatory. Simply saying that safety gear is “recommended” is not enough to guarantee compliance.
  • Place high visibility warning signs in areas that are particularly susceptible to slip-and-fall accidents, including icy sidewalks, slick loading docks, slippery steps, and narrow walkways.
  • Encourage employees to treat hazards themselves by making rock salt, sand, sawdust, floor mats, and other remedies readily accessible near known trouble spots.
  • Consider assembling and training a “safety team” made up of interested employees. These safety team members can help with monitoring workspaces in real time and can offer reminders or tips when they see breaches of safety protocols.

Workplace safety should be a priority in every organization, particularly those that have already experienced the loss of work days, productivity, and employee morale due to preventable slip-and-fall accidents. Make this year different by implementing the above tips to promote compliance with all safety rules.

Reasons You Haven’t Bought Ice Cleats

yaktrax_walkerOutdoor work safety is a critical issue year round, but is especially important in the winter when snow and ice combine to make conditions even more hazardous than usual. Slip and fall accidents are one of the largest causes of workplace injuries, and can have devastating effects on health, morale, and productivity.

The best way to prevent slip and fall accidents on outdoor surfaces is to increase traction on employees’ footwear with the help of removable ice cleats from manufacturers such as Yaktrax, WinterSmart, Get-A-Grip, and STABILicers.

Yet as easy as it is to add ice cleats to work shoes and boots, many employers still haven’t adopted this preventive safety measure. Some of the top reasons they give for holding out include the following:

Buying ice cleats for every worker is too expensive.

We understand that many businesses have budget concerns, but it just doesn’t make sense to cut corners where safety is involved. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a single slip and fall incident in the workplace costs employers an average of $28,000 — which makes the volume discount price on ice cleats at CozyWinters look like an even bigger bargain!

Employees won’t want to bother putting them on and taking them off.

This concern, which is occasionally voiced by folks that need heavy-duty spiked ice cleats, is simply outdated. Many modern ice cleat models come with Velcro straps or easy-to-grip support rings and holes that make quick work of getting the cleats on and off. When safety is that simple, everyone benefits!

Employees can just walk carefully.

Many people think that they do not need safety equipment because they feel they can take care to avoid accidents on their own. However, this is simply not the case. While walking carefully and slowly is always advised in icy conditions, companies must take every precaution to promote the safety of their employees, but also to reduce company liability for potential injuries due to workplace injury.

Employees can’t wear them indoors or while driving.

Unfortunately, it is true that no ice cleats are safe to wear indoors or while driving. However, as we mentioned above, most brands of ice cleats are quick and easy to put on or take off when changing walking surfaces. All it takes to switch from winter walking to driving is a quick

 

Prevention is the best way to handle slip and fall accidents in winter, which is why the added traction of ice cleats is a must-have for outdoor workers. If you’ve been avoiding a purchase for your employees because of one of the excuses above, it’s time to change your mind and get with the (safety) program!

The Benefits of Wearing Ice Cleats on the Tarmac and Other Industrial Areas

There are several benefits to wearing a pair of ice cleats if you work for an airport or government agency such as Parks and Outdoor Recreation or Waste Management. Did you know that this year more than one third of adults will suffer an injury due to falling on ice? These accidents also account for more than 25,000 missed days of work! Wow! If you currently work on a tarmac at an airport or for Waste Management or another government agency, there are a few things you can do this season to ensure your own safety. We have put together a small safety checklist that includes learning to walk like a penguin, using the proper equipment, and knowing the difference between young and mature ice.

Learn to Walk Like a Penguin

Pay close attention to others around you during colder months, you’ll probably notice that some are more adept to walking on ice than others. People who have grown up or lived in an icy environment for an extended period of time have learned to walk like penguins and as a result fall less than others. To walk like a penguin, simply shift your center of gravity to your front facing foot instead of splitting it evenly between both feet.

Buy Ice Cleats

A durable pair of properly fitting ice cleats are instrumental to your success on the ice! Ice cleats will give you more gripping power while working on the tarmac or out on the ice this year. Before ordering a pair of ice cleats, talk to other contractors and government employees to see if they would like to order a pair too! We have bulk pricing on high quality ice cleats that will help both you and your coworkers from slipping on the tarmac during below freezing temperatures. Less slipping means fewer injuries!

Fall the Right Way

Did you know that there is a right and wrong way to fall? If you learn to fall the right way, you’ll be less likely to injure yourself. As soon as you think you are about to fall, tuck your chin against your chest, wrap your arms around your head and try to fold your body into itself. Next, quickly roll onto your back and exhale powerfully or shout to absorb as much of the impact as possible. Trust us, the fall will hurt less! Whatever you do, do not try to break your fall using your arms!

Know Your Ice

It’s also important to know what type of ice you’re working with and if it’s safe to cross. Look for clear ice, it’s usually newly formed and stronger than older ice formations. If you’re in an area where ice has formed over running water, don’t cross! This is very dangerous! Lastly, always remember that the thickness of ice tends to vary, one area may be two feet thick while another area is less than two inches thick. There are several charts available online to use as a guide, we recommend printing one out and bringing it with you.

How do you protect yourself on the ice? Share your answers with us in our comments section or on Facebook! We would love to hear from you!

What to Pack for Winter Vacation: Snow Cleats, Gloves, Electric Blankets and More!

Are you planning to take a trip this winter to your cabin in Colorado? There are several benefits to owning a property located in the mountains, especially if your permanent residence is located in an area where it’s sunny and 90 degrees throughout the year. However if you are accustomed to warm and sunny weather, you’ll need to pack the essentials like a pair of snow cleats, gloves, electric blankets and more. If you’re not sure of what else to pack for a snow property vacation, don’t worry, we’ve compiled a small list of a few essentials that you will not want to leave behind.

Electric Blanket

An electric blanket will require extra room in your suitcase, but you’ll be glad you brought it! If you’re worried about the amount of electricity an electric blanket will use while you are visiting your snow property, don’t worry! Modern electric blankets use very little voltage to operate and you’ll stay warm all night without the bulkiness of another comforter.

Snow Cleats

A proper fitting pair of snow cleats are a must have if you own a snow property! They’ll come in handy if you’re having to perform maintenance around the property or if you plan on spending the majority of your time outdoors walking around town. Snow cleats have a bad reputation of being bulky and a pain to wear however there are several streamlined designs from name brand manufacturers like Get-A-Grip, Yaktrax, and Wintertrax. If you’re looking for even more traction while completing your honey-do list, check out an over-the-shoe style from STABLicers.

Dry-Fit Socks

The socks you pack should not only be made of a dry-fit material, but should also be thin. We know this seems counter intuitive but we have very good reasoning for it. A dry-fit pair of thin socks will keep your feet warm and dry while out in the snow and you’ll be able to better avoid uncomfortable blisters. You can also better layer thin socks if you need extra cushion.

Moisturizer

The cold weather is naturally dryer and is therefore much harsher on our skin than warmer weather.  In order to combat skin irritation, we recommend applying a thick moisturizer to your skin throughout the day. If you have a moisturizer that you commonly use at home, it will probably be too thin for cold weather and you will likely want to pick up a thicker moisturizer at your local drug store or department store make-up counter.

On-The-Go Snacks

We know that you’ll stock your snow property with plenty of food while you’re there, but don’t forget to also pack on-the-go snacks. Why? For starters, you’ll never know when you will need a pick-me-up while out on the mountain, whether you’re repairing the house, hiking, or skiing. Having a small snack here and there will also help you fight off altitude sickness. We recommend buying trail mix, granola bars, protein bars or dried fruit.

Don’t forget to pack plenty of clothes that you can layer for warmth! What do you pack when you vacation in the mountains? Share your essentials with us in our comments section or on Facebook!

The Benefits of Traveling with Ice Cleats

Safety is often times the number one core value of trucking companies, no matter what industry they serve. In order to carry out this value, it’s important for truck drivers to be prepared at all times, which requires them to have all of the necessary equipment and tools. What do truck drivers need in order to perform a job safely and efficiently? Believe it or not, one of the most important items for a truck driver to have is a pair of ice cleats.

Why are ice cleats important? They will improve a truck driver’s traction and balance on ice and snow, and will ultimately increase your safety on the road. A proper fitting pair of ice cleats are required by most trucking companies and even if they are not required, it’s never a bad idea to add a pair of ice cleats to your closet if they will help prevent you from slipping and falling.

Did you know that the third largest cause of workplace injuries are slip and fall accidents? Yikes! If you are a trucking company investigating the benefits of an ice cleat requirement, you’ll find that there are several. For starters, you’ll see a reduced amount of Worker’s Comp claims from employees because they will be less likely to injure themselves while on the job. You also might see a reduction in insurance policy costs because ice cleats typically comply with insurance standards.

A major reason why truck drivers (And really anyone) resist wearing ice cleats is because they feel like they are not very versatile. However if you browse our large selection of ice cleats you will see that they have come a long way since their humble beginning. Get-A-Grip manufactures a pair of ice cleats that easily attach to casual, dress, and athletic wear. You’ll hardly notice that you have them on! If you’re on the road with your kids during winter vacation, don’t forget to pick up a pair of ice cleats for them too. We have several well-fitting options to choose from.

In addition to packing a pair of ice cleats for when you’re traveling on the road for work, we also recommend bringing cooler for fresh food and water, a basic tool kit and a roadside emergency kit. What items do you bring along with you on the road? Share them with us in our comments section or on Facebook!