As an employer, it is your responsibility to take steps to protect your employees and your business.
Winter weather can be a hazard to Rhode Island businesses. Heavy accumulations of ice and snow can bring down trees and topple utility poles and communication towers. Ice can disrupt communications and power for days while utility companies repair extensive damage. Even small accumulations of ice can be extremely dangerous to motorists and pedestrians. Bridges and overpasses are particularly dangerous because they freeze before other surfaces. Snow and ice are a threat to your business and your employees.
At Beacon, we’re serious about safety. We’re committed to helping businesses and employees stay safe all year long, especially when winter weather hits.
According to National Weather Service, about 70 percent of injuries during winter storms result from vehicle accidents and about 25 percent of injuries result from being caught out in the storm.
Some of the common hazards associated with working in winter storms include:
- Driving accidents due to slippery roadways
- Slips and falls due to slippery walkways
- Hypothermia and frostbite due to the cold weather exposure
- Being struck by falling objects such as icicles, tree limbs, and utility poles
- Electrocution due to downed power lines or downed objects in contact with power lines
- Falls from heights (e.g. falls from roof or skylights while removing snow)
- Roof collapse under weight of snow (or melting snow if drains are clogged)
- Burns from fires caused by energized line contact or equipment failure
- Exhaustion from working extended shifts
Download Beacon Mutual’s Winter Weather Guide (PDF) to help keep you and your business safe. This guide explains the dangers of winter weather and suggests life-saving action you can take. With this information, you can recognize winter weather threats, develop an action plan to protect your employees and be ready when severe winter weather threatens your business.
Visit the Safety Library to download winter Safety Alerts including:
- Cold Weather Work – Cold weather can leave workers more vulnerable to slips/falls, muscular strains as well as certain lung and cardiac risk.
- ERGO Snow Shoveling – 7 Tips for Shoveling Snow
- Snow Blower Safety – Review snow plow operations and safety tips, and defensive driving pointers.
- Snow Removal from Roofs – Guidelines to help ensure that proper controls are in place to help minimize the risks associated with working on snow-covered roofs.
- Winter Driving Techniques – It is important to prepare adequately for the slipping and sliding associated with winter driving. Learn important tips on how to prepare both your car and your winter driving techniques in this special Winter Safety Alert.
- Winter Slip and Fall Protection (for employers or for employees) – This winter, be prepared to take extra caution in preventing slip and fall injuries at work.
To read more safety tips for Rhode Islanders, visit the State of Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency.