Avoiding Slips, Trips and Falls This Winter.

Not really the winter trip you were hoping for? Slips, trips and falls are extremely dangerous and are common in winter weather, particularly in icy conditions. We’ve put together a list of things to think about which will help keep your feet on the ground where they belong.

Understand that a slip, trip or fall is a serious matter:

Slips, trips and falls are by far the most common workplace accident, with over half of them resulting in injuries requiring more than 7 days absence from work. (HSE 2022). It is important that your employees understand the serious nature of the risk and that they also bear a level of personal responsibility, both in terms of following the safety protocols put in place and in adjusting their own behaviours.

TIP: Have a safety meeting or toolbox talk to ensure everyone is aware of the increased risk in cold conditions. Share the footwear maintenance and walking in slippery conditions tips described below.

Choose your footwear wisely:

Safety footwear should be fit for purpose in the cold winter weather. Do your work boots offer proper grip for icy and wet conditions? Look for anti-slip soles, waterproof uppers and insulation to keep your feet dry and warm. Strong ankle support can also protect from injury. Remember to consider the safety rating for your PPE. Are metal cleats appropriate for your work hazards? Are the boots are designed to withstand all you are likely to throw at them? And don’t forget to make sure that they fit correctly, with enough space for a thermal sock layer inside, while still being able to move your toes.

TIP: Footwear technology has advanced to an amazing level: Have a look at our safety boots – particularly the models from Michelin, Mammoet and Panther which offer fantastic protection.

ToWorkFor Full Grip
Michelin Ankle Boot

Black Mammoet Anchor
Sport Boot with Composite Midsole

Black Panther waterproof
carbon leather boot with side zip

Black Panther non-metallic
waterproof boot



Keep your footwear well maintained:

It’s not enough just to have the best boots – its vital to look after your footwear and check your shoes regularly - the best safety boots cannot stop you slipping if they are clogged up.

TIPS:

  • Keep them clean, polish and treat the leather with a preservative.
  • Store in a cool, dry location, dry away from direct heat.
  • Clear mud and snow from the tread to maintain grip. Worn tread is dangerous – When the tread disappears, so does the traction.
  • Cracks, holes or breaks in the leather all reduce protection. Look for exposed toecaps, broken heels or loose soles. Always replace worn footwear.

Who knew there was a better way to walk on a slippery surface?

Striding along at speed in slippery conditions is a quick way to see the world upside down. Perhaps penguins have the right idea…

TIP: Bend slightly forward and walk flat-footed, with your centre of gravity directly over your feet as much as possible. Walk slowly, with small steps. Keep your hands out of your pockets and be prepared to fall. If you do lose balance, try to fall with sequential contacts at your thigh, hip and then shoulder.

Review all slips and trips as part of your continuous improvement strategy:

Investigating any slip, trip or fall incidents critically will allow you to learn from them. Find out exactly what happened and how and then put in the appropriate procedures to avoid a repeat. This is the way you will be able continuously improve and get closer to eliminating all slips, trips and falls.

TIP: Put in a clear reporting process for your employees and remember to follow up on the resulting recommended changes quickly.


Go to our Winter PPE range

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