Slips and falls are one of the most common Workers’ Compensation claims and can be some of the costliest. Slips and falls on ice and wet surfaces can result in broken ankles, as well as injuries to shoulders, arms, knees, feet and backs.
NJ CAR is committed to helping dealers develop a workplace safety culture that becomes second nature. Following are some tips to minimize accidents related to icy surfaces that you should communicate to all dealership employees:
•In cold temperatures, approach with caution and assume that all wet, dark areas on pavements are slippery and icy. Dew or water vapor can freeze on cold surfaces, forming an extra-thin, nearly invisible layer of ice that can look like a wet spot on the pavement.
•Walk in designated walkways as much as possible. Taking shortcuts over snow piles and other frozen areas can be hazardous. Look ahead when you walk; a snow- or ice-covered sidewalk or driveway, especially if on a hill, may require travel along its grassy edge for traction.
•Taking shortcuts through areas where snow and ice removal is not feasible can be hazardous.
•Bend slightly and walk flat-footed with your center of gravity directly over the feet as much as possible.
•Extend your arms out to your sides to maintain balance. Beware if you are carrying a heavy backpack or other load—your sense of balance will be “off.”
•Keep your hands out of your pockets. This lowers your center of gravity and increases balance. You can help break your fall with your hands free, if you do start to slip.
•Watch where you are stepping and GO S-L-O-W-L-Y! This will help your reaction time to changes in traction.
•When walking on steps, always use the hand railing(s) and plant your feet firmly on each step.
•Use special care when entering and exiting vehicles; use the vehicle for support.
•Take short steps or shuffle for stability. It also helps to stop occasionally to break momentum.
Don’t wait until an accident happens to focus on safety. Reduce the chance of injury and protect your bottom line with simple, common-sense changes.
For more information on the NJ CAR Workers’ Compensation and Zero Injury Program, please contact Charles Russo, NJ CAR’s Risk Manager & Safety Specialist, at 609.883.5056, Ext. 314, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.