Avoid slips, trips and falls on snow and ice

  • Published
  • By Shane Poulsen, 75th Air Base Wing Safety

HILL AIR FORCE BASE – Last year, we saw record-breaking snowfall across Utah, which was great for our bodies of water and for those of us who like to hit the slopes. However, it wasn’t good for mishap numbers.

Slips, Trips, and Falls were our number one mishap category for FY23 and second place wasn’t even close.

Snow is upon us, so we want to make you aware of what we learned last year and what you can do for your safety and to reduce these mishaps in FY24.

Lesson 1: Foot protection does not guarantee safe passage.
You should always wear proper footwear in the winter to increase traction however most of our ice-related slip and fall mishaps were not due to improper footwear. Proper footwear helps (I know that from personal experience) but do not assume expensive boots are the only piece of the puzzle.

Lesson 2: Salt doesn’t always melt ice.
Some of you may believe salt placed on the sidewalks and roadways in the morning will melt the ice away before employees get to work but salt generally won’t melt ice when temperatures are below 15 degrees. Salt in the early morning can act as traction for your feet and then slowly melt away the ice as temperatures rise, so put it down but don’t get complacent.

Lesson 3: Have a good snow removal plan.
Your snow removal plan should incorporate who is responsible to remove snow, when they remove the snow and what materials are needed to accomplish the job. Take time in your next safety meeting to address your plan.

The installation is mapping all slips, trips and falls using Geobase, which will produce a
heatmap indicating the best opportunities to target slip and fall reduction efforts.

The best way to make this data effective is to report all slip-and-fall mishaps to your
supervisor. They will complete an AF Form 978 and then send the mishap information to
the safety office for inclusion on the map.

For everyone’s continued safety, please report all winter incidents and above all, be careful out there.