Winter Is Coming

icy stepsThough I hate to see summer end and dread the approach of winter, it is good to be prepared ahead of time for the dangers that winter weather poses. Last winter was particularly bad for icy conditions and snowstorms. In the Midwest, almost a third of workers’ comp claims were due to slip and falls on the ice and snow.

Two carriers, Accident Fund Insurance Company of America and United Heartland, said that last year’s slip and falls were double the number reported in the winter of 2012-2013. They said overall 29 percent of claims were related to icy conditions. Indiana saw almost 37 percent of their claims come from these kinds of incidents, while Wisconsin hovered around 33 percent, Michigan and Illinois at 32 percent and Minnesota at 29 percent.

These accidents resulted in more costs for the employer in terms of increased rates, more work on co-workers when that employee took time off of work and more costs for the employee who could not be at work. The president of Accident Fund Insurance Company of America urged employers and employees to take care when dealing with these weather conditions in the coming months.

Workers might want to wear boots or other non-slip shoes, watch for black ice outside and slippery floors inside, use a dolly rather than carrying big items and be careful going up and down steps or getting in or out of a vehicle. In an office setting it might be a good idea for employers to set up their employees to work from home on days when the weather takes a wintery turn.

The carriers who reported these statistics are going to launch safety campaigns this month that include ice removal plans, tips on salting and shoveling and other resources that may help reduce these kinds of incidents. Here is a great guide to check out for even more tips and advice.

The weather is not something that anyone can change or prevent, but it is a safety issue that everyone needs to watch out for.

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