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Avoiding winter slips and falls

Bases such as Hill AFB experience a significant amount of snow and ice annually which put our Airmen at a high risk of ice related slip and fall injuries. Supervisors should work with facility managers and employees to develop a plan to avoid these injuries before the snow arrives. (U.S. Air Force graphic by David Perry)

Bases such as Hill AFB experience a significant amount of snow and ice annually which put our Airmen at a high risk of ice related slip and fall injuries. Supervisors should work with facility managers and employees to develop a plan to avoid these injuries before the snow arrives. (U.S. Air Force graphic by David Perry)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah --

(This article is part of HillAFB’s Winter Safety series. Prepare for the winter season with these helpful tips.)

Bases such as Hill AFB experience a significant amount of snow and ice annually which put our Airmen at a high risk of ice related slip and fall injuries. Supervisors should work with facility managers and employees to develop a plan to avoid these injuries before the snow arrives. Following these five safety tips will greatly reduce the chance of an ice-related injury.

Identify Exposure: Parking lots and sidewalks are the most common places of ice related injuries. Employees with wet feet are likely to also make entrances slick.

Assess the Risk: The majority of slips and falls do not result in extreme injuries but do result in a reduction of mission capabilities.  Airmen are often put on restricted duty or are unable to attend work due to sprains and strains resulting from slips and falls.

Make a Plan: Supervisors, with the assistance of employees, should develop a plan that reduces exposure and provides the tools to stay safe when exposure is unavoidable. Snow removal, ice melt, and proper footwear are all aspects that should be addressed within this plan.

Execute: A plan is only as good as its execution.  Identify individual responsibilities for snow removal, the application of ice melt, and any other requirements found within the shop. The snow plan must be clearly stated, assignments known and actions performed.  Primary and alternate personnel must be identified to accommodate for leave, illness or holidays.

Review/Adjust: The winter season is very long at Hill and therefore the plan and execution of the plan should be reviewed regularly.  This review will help identify improvements that can be implemented to better protect our Airmen.