Cold winter months and the accompanying icy or snowy weather is an especially important time to consider workplace safety precautions. The increased risk of injury due to cold temperatures, ice or snow is indisputable. According to the CDC, winter weather kills more than twice as many Americans than summer heat. Keeping yourself aware of the increased risk cold weather brings will help as you plan to prevent winter-related injuries and keep yourself and employees safe.
Winter-Related Injuries Involving Vehicles
If you or others are regularly behind the wheel during winter months, consider the increased risk of driving in snowy or icy conditions demonstrated by the following statistics:
- Each year, around 900 people are killed and almost 76,000 people are injured in car wrecks during snowfall or sleet.
- 24 percent of weather-related vehicle crashes happen on snowy, slushy or icy roads annually. 15 percent happen during snowfall or sleet.
- Over 116,000 people in the US are injured and more than 1,300 are killed on snowy, slushy or icy roads every winter.
Other Winter-Related Injuries
Furthermore, consider the risk of slips, falls and other injuries that occur during work done in cold, snowy, or icy weather:
- 1 million Americans are injured due to slip and fall injuries annually. The risk of slip and fall injuries increases dramatically during winter months.
- Slips and falls are not the main cause of fatal workplace injuries, however, they represent the primary cause of lost days from work.
- In 2014, there were 42,480 workplace injuries or illnesses from ice, sleet, or snow that required at least one day off of work as a result.
- From the above injuries, 34,860, or 82 percent, were due to slips or falls on level ground.
- Between 1990 and 2006, approximately 195,000 people in the U.S. were treated in a hospital emergency room because of injuries acquired during snow shoveling.
- Approximately 1,301 Americans die from hypothermia annually.
If you or your employees are at risk for acquiring winter-related injuries, it’s important to properly plan against them. An effective solution to keeping steps, doorways and walkways safe and ice-free is the Summerstep Snow Melting Mat. Summerstep heated mats are designed to be left outside all winter long, can be custom made to fit any location, and will melt approximately 2 inches of snow per hour while operating. It eliminates time-consuming shoveling and de-icing and prevents slips that could cause serious injury. To save time and hassle, and for added peace of mind, consider making Summerstep heated mats a part of your winter safety precautions.