Each season brings unique workplace challenges. One hazard present in all: the potential for slips, trips, and falls. With snow or ice on the ground, however, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) notes the risk of harm can be even greater. That’s why it’s essential for workplaces to follow these general precautions, whether their employees on the ground or at elevated heights:

On the ground:

– Spread salt before forecasted frozen precipitation to prevent snow or ice from sticking

– Clear exterior walkways and surfaces and use de-icing agents outside of buildings or facilities, if winter weather occurs

– Encourage employees to take short, slow steps and wear the proper footwear, preferably insulated, water-resistant boots with rubber treads

At elevated heights:

– Educate workers on fall hazards and fall protection equipment, as required by OSHA

– Provide regular training on how to use ladders and aerial lifts safely

– Require employees to use the appropriate personal protective equipment

– Evaluate the total weight of the snow, workers, and equipment against the load limit of the impacted roof prior to conducting any work

– Use snow and ice removal methods that do not involve going on the roof (e.g., snow rakes), when and where possible

Need guidance on how to ensure safe workplace operations during the winter? Connect with our expert team by emailing webquestion@cteh.com.