Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Winter slips and falls: Avoid common hazards


December 6, 2018

Winter slips and falls are a leading cause of work injuries in the Upper Midwest, and one of the most common injuries we see at SFM.

According to SFM claims data:

• 25 percent of ice- and snow-related falls occur in parking lots

• 20 percent of slips and falls that occur in parking lots result in lost time from work

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2016, there were 20,520 workplace slip-and-fall injuries involving ice, sleet or snow that required at least one day away from work to recuperate. This number doesn’t include falls from heights or through surfaces.

The average number of days to recover from these types of injuries varied in the Midwest.

Average days off work due to winter slips and falls


Days to recover and get back to work









Bureau of Labor Statistics data also show that there were thousands more winter slip-and-fall-related injuries that were minor and did not result in lost work time.

SFM estimates the average winter slip-and-fall lost-time claim to be between $40,000 and $45,000. The costs — direct and indirect — mount quickly and can’t be ignored.

Protect your workplace against winter slips and falls

Winter slips and falls can easily be avoided by taking some simple precautions. Let the SFM penguin help you raise awareness among your employees.

Tell employees to:

• Walk like a penguin by focusing on your footing and taking short, slow and flat-footed steps

• Take it slow

• Avoid using cell phones or carrying large loads while walking

• Walk on marked paths and avoid short cuts

• Wear proper footwear for the weather — no heels or smooth-soled shoes

• Watch for changing conditions — freezing, melting and refreezing are especially dangerous

• Step down and not out when getting out of a vehicle

• Step down off curbs, not out

• Report icy conditions to a supervisor or maintenance person

• Spread salt on ice


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