With summer in the air, it’s easy to forget about the safety protocols involved when working in icy environments. But ice safety should be a year round concern for employers, especially when considering the true cost of not enforcing safety measures such as wearing ice cleats. This is because ice is a leading cause of slip-and-fall accidents in winter, and slip-and-fall accidents themselves make up a large percentage of annual worker compensation claims. In fact, here are some eye-opening statistics about slip, trip, and fall type incidents from the US Department of Labor and OSHA:
- Make up approximately 25% of all general industry accidents
- Account for more than 95 million lost work days annually
- Trigger 15% of all accidental workplace deaths (second only to motor vehicle accidents)
- Are the leading cause of accidents in restaurants, hotels, and public buildings
- Result in more than $1.8 billion worth of worker’s compensation claims each year
- Are a contributing factor in steeply rising insurance rates (currently averaging 30% per annum)
These costs, both in terms of real money and lost productivity, show why it’s important for business owners to stay on top of ice safety enforcement even in the warmer months. Things to do now include updating safety posters and reminders in break rooms and locker rooms; reviewing disciplinary procedures for employees that fail to wear ice cleats when required; inspecting stored ice cleats to ensure the storage environment is holding up well; and visiting CozyWinters to order new equipment for recent hires.
Once your employees realize how serious you are about enforcing ice safety they will begin following the rules more diligently, so it’s in everyone’s best interest to keep the conversation going year round.