Workers Compensation Board of Prince Edward Island

Practice caution to prevent slips and falls

February 28, 2018

With recent thaws and freezing, it is important for workers and employers to take proper precautions to avoid slips and falls over the Winter months.

 

According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, over 42,000 workers in Canada are injured annually due to falls.

 

“With icy conditions, there is a greater risk for slips and falls at work and at home,” said Angus Houston, Vice Chair of the Workers Compensation Board. “It’s important for workers and employers to be aware and prepared for Winter conditions and to be vigilant while walking.”

 

In 2016, 217 Islanders required time off work due to injuries resulting from slips, trips and falls. These claims made up 21.5% of all lost time claims for that year.

 

The average cost of a claim for an injury resulting from a slip, trip or fall was $8,678. These claims resulted in an average of 56 days off work.

 

To help avoid injury when walking on ice and snow, WCB PEI offers these tips:

  •  Walk slowly and deliberately, focused on the path ahead.
  • Where possible, avoid slippery surfaces, such as wet leaves, icy areas and snow banks.
  • Wear appropriate footwear with slip-resistant soles to work, and change into indoor footwear. Ice grippers that attach to your footwear can provide additional traction.
  • Use handrails where available.
  • Check to make sure entrance areas and stairs are clear of snow and slush. Tracked in snow and slush often causes slips and falls.
  • Clean your shoes when you go inside. Caked snow and ice on shoe soles can be treacherous.
  • Report all slips, trips and fall hazards and incidents to your employer.

 

Tips for Employers 

  • Keep parking lots and walkways clear of snow and ice. Be pro-active. Monitor the weather and expect slippery conditions.
  • Clear ice and snow before workers need to get in or out of the parking lot.
  • Use salt, sand or another proven anti-slip material to keep lots and walkways clear.
  • Ensure workers working outdoors wear appropriate footwear for conditions.
  • Provide good lighting and clear path markings in lots and walkways.
  • Clearly identify steps, ramps and other elevation changes.
  • Clean up spills and wet areas inside immediately and mark the area.
  • Secure mats and rugs that do not lay flat.
  • Define everyone’s role in preventing slips and falls, and communicate those roles to all employees.
  • Follow up and, if necessary, address slip, trip and fall concerns reported by employees.
     

More information on preventing slips and falls can be found on the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety website at www.ccohs.ca/topics/hazards/ergonomic/slips. For more information about safety matters, visit the Safe Workplaces section of this website.

 



Media Contact:
Laura Steeves, Senior Communications Coordinator
902-894-0362 or lsteeves@wcb.pe.ca