Slips, trips and falls Injury prevention

Michigan OSHA issues hazard alert about working near ice

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Photo: jeffhochstrasser/iStockphoto

Lansing, MI – Even though winter is in its final weeks, workers need to keep taking proper precautions around ice, Michigan OSHA states in a hazard alert released in February.

Eighty-eight workers in Michigan were hospitalized from 2014 to 2015 because of falling on ice on the job, according to state hospital surveillance data. Actual injury counts likely are much higher, MIOSHA stated, because the hospital data does not include workers who sought treatment in emergency departments, urgent care clinics or doctors’ offices.

Of the 88 workers who were hospitalized in the past two years, most required surgery. More than three-quarters of the injuries were to lower extremities. The average hospital stay was three-and-a-half days.

MIOSHA offers numerous tips to prevent ice-related falls both at work and en route to work:

  • Keep all walkways cleared of ice and snow.
  • Have de-icing products ready for hard-to-remove ice or snow.
  • Make sure all walkways and passageways are clearly marked and well-lit.
  • Be careful of slippery surfaces inside buildings.
  • Wear slip-resistant footwear.
  • Practice safe walking on slippery surfaces by taking slow, small steps.
  • Step down, not out, from curbs.
  • Avoid carrying heavy loads that offset your balance.
  • Clearly mark or barricade hazardous areas.
  • Wear sunglasses on sunny days to lessen winter glare.
  • Take extra precaution when entering and exiting vehicles.

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