Ice cleats must be sized, worn, and used according to manufacturer’s instructions in order to provide extra traction, grip, and stability on icy terrain. Failure to do so could lead to the very kind of slip-and-fall accidents ice cleats are designed to prevent.
In a similar vein, ice cleats must also be stored and cared for properly during those months when employees return to their ordinary footwear because outdoor walkways are clear of snow and ice. Taking good care of ice cleats during the off-season helps prolong product life and ensures your safety gear will perform as expected next winter. Here are some general care and storage tips that are applicable to most types of ice cleats:
- Thoroughly clean the product to remove all visible traces of dirt and salt, which can begin to degrade the rubber soles or rust the metal spikes after long-term exposure.
- While cleaning, visually inspect the soles and individual spikes for signs of damage, including rips, tears, and uneven wear. Replace any damaged cleats that you discover.
- Label or otherwise mark employee cleats so that the same pair can be distributed to the same person next winter.
- Designate a specific storage area for the cleats, such as a cabinet, closet, pegged wallboard, or (if you only have a few pairs), drawer. The storage space should be kept dry and pest-free throughout the offseason.
- Periodically check the storage environment to ensure it is holding up as expected.
Well maintained ice cleats are vital to protecting employees against injuries resulting from slip-and-fall incidents in snowy or icy conditions. Take care of your company’s winter safety gear by cleaning, inspecting, and storing ice cleats and other stabilizing footwear as recommended above.