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Don’t be tripped up by slip and fall hazards

  • SIMA
- Posted: October 25, 2016
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As you finalize site engineering plans for the winter, don’t neglect the worst areas for slip and fall potential. If these areas are included in your scope of work, make sure you and the client are on the same page with regard to level of service requirements:

Curbs. Stepping onto or off of curbs can be hazardous. When clearing sidewalks, don’t ignore curb lines and any other obstructions (decorative placements, fire hydrants, drains, etc.) that can lead to residual snow and ice buildup. Clearing curb lines will minimize snow that could result in new ice formations. 

Vehicle exits. Leaving the comfort of your cozy vehicle can be dangerous. You can’t control how a pedestrian leaves the car and begins to walk across the parking lot. But you can ensure that you’ve done your job well by performing proper snow and ice management on the site. However, it’s just as important that your team members practice safe walking and vehicle exiting techniques. Remember to always have three points of contact with the vehicle at all times. Wear shoes with sturdy, no-slip soles. Never jump or lean forward out of a vehicle.

Building entrances. Transitions from exterior to interior spaces are prime spots since people are tracking in snow from outside. This can lead to puddles that can pose a slipping hazard. Conversely, if an interior has been kept dry and safe, that transition onto snow and ice from a sidewalk that hasn’t been cleared can be slippery. If the entrance is covered by awning, don’t forget to make sure snow and ice are removed.

Steps and ramps. These areas are inherently dangerous given their design. Both should be cleared of snow and appropriate ice management materials deployed to prevent refreeze. 

Snow storage. Take into consideration placement of snow piles to prevent runoff that could travel into the pedestrian field and refreeze. As part of your scope of work, identify who is responsible for site monitoring in the event of melt/refreeze.

Comprehensive snow and ice management requires an eagle eye. Always review the site with the worst-case scenarios in mind to ensure no details are left unaddressed. This holds true from start to finish – from the bidding/estimate process to successful completion of the contracted level of service.

View all 2016 Snow Safety week articles and content here.
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