As a business owner, the winter is sometimes the slowest time of the year. The winter also may be responsible for some untimely expenses. Winter usually creates thoughts of contingency planning, increasing workloads to make up for down time, and increased costs and expenses which return a loss of revenues. Another factor that is increased during the winter is Workplace Injuries. Here are some of the most common injuries during winter and tips to avoid the mishap.
1. Slips & Falls – Winter increases the amount of slips and falls there are from the ice and snow that is on sidewalks and walkways. Even though it seems like common sense to address this issue, it is the most common winter work related injury.
What to do?
- Start by removing all the snow and ice around and near the building. Then apply salt and sand to keep the ice/snow from coming back.
- Watch for changing weather conditions. When there are temperature rises and drops it causes for an increase in ice. When these conditions are foreseeable put on second and third applications of sand or salt may on walkways.
- Put mats and rugs inside entryways – wet floors from snow tracked indoors can be a hazard.
- Use warning devices and signs to help employees and customers identify wet/slippery areas.
2. Hypothermia & Frost Bite – If your employees are consistently outside, keep in mind that hypothermia can occur. If you work with drivers, consider what if the truck was to break down, would they have heat?
- Consistently check with employees if the temperature is bothering them
- Make sure that the room is always set to room temperature
- Make sure employees come properly dressed and prepared for colder conditions
- Prepare your drivers with a first aid heat kit, composed of hand warmers, a blanket and thermos
3. Dehydration – Your body is always working to keep you warm, so in the winter it is even working harder. The process your body goes through to keep it warm uses a lot of energy and proper hydration is necessary.
- Drink water based fluids several additional times a day
- Avoid the extra cups of coffee and tea, they lead to dehydration
4. Back Injuries – Shoveling snow is one of the biggest downsides to winter and it is one of the biggest causes for back injuries. Use caution and safety when shoveling the snow. and consider using a snow blower.
- Consider if you are of age and health to be engaging in this activity
- Lift from your knees
- Consider using a snow blower.
- Wear a back brace/harness
- Buy a snow blower
Protect your employees from injuries during the cold weather. If there any situations that bring up concern or if you need more tips in preparing for winter, contact Vreeland Insurance today. Vreeland Insurance also provides the area’s most efficient New Jersey worker’s compensation policies and coverage. Get quoted, you can some extra money for that holiday spending!