SAFETY DESK: Preparing for Winter

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By SHAWN CASSIDY
Field Safety Specialist, Lyman-Richey Corporation

This coming week, areas of South Dakota are expecting snowfall. As we start to transition into fall and winter, we need to be ready for the slippery/icy conditions that are coming.

Over the past few years, Lyman-Richey employees have received significant injuries from slip/trip/falls from ice and mud. We can eliminate these injuries by being prepared for these conditions.

To be prepared:

  • Survey your location - Look for areas that will have standing water (with all the rain lately they should be easy to spot). These will be the areas with significant ice build-up from the freeze/thaw cycles.

  • Create a plan - It’s important to have a plan in place when the snow starts to fall. Snow causes mud during thaw cycles and then ice-over in freezing cycles. Know who at your plant is going to be clearing/sanding the walkways at your location. Have a list or map of the known problem or priority areas that need attention for everyone’s safety.

  • Staging equipment - Making sure that you have your equipment for maintaining walkways stored near stairs and problem/priority areas will allow you rapidly correct or treat needed areas. Have shovels in a couple key locations so they are ready when needed.

  • Maintaining your personal gear - Make sure that your work boots are in good shape and have enough traction for where you are working. Make sure that you have correct outer wear for the weather and that your class three reflective apparel is the outer most layer.

  • Train yourself - Train yourself to walk on slippery surfaces to help you prevent injuries. One good way is to remember to walk like a penguin.

Preparation is the key to making sure that we can all get home safely to our families at the end of our shifts. Is it worth it to you?

 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

What are some other slippery conditions we can see around us?

What other ways do you prepare for the slippery winter conditions?