Workplace safety is always important, but the winter brings some unique concerns. No matter what your profession is, you likely face distinct hazards once the temperature drops. With preparation and staying alert, you can prevent injuries to the best of your ability.

While your company must enact and reinforce seasonal safety policies, you can take some actions to be safer in the workplace. Here are some guidelines from OSHA for avoiding occupational injury during the wintertime.

Slips, trips and falls

Falling because of a slip or trip can cause a variety of injuries, from minor sprains to fatal brain injuries. Rain, ice and snow exacerbate the risk of getting hurt by a slip or trip. Because your workplace is a more hazardous environment, you must be extra cautious when completing your responsibilities. Some easy tips for avoiding fall accidents during winter at work include:

  • Wear footwear with heavy treads when possible
  • Clear all work areas from clutter, especially walkways and stairways
  • Remove snow on sidewalks and water on floors immediately
  • Watch where you step when walking
  • Take shorter steps
  • Walk slower
  • Use temporary signs, barricades or cones to mark hazardous areas

These precautions may help reduce the likelihood of sustaining a workplace injury.

Clearing snow

While shoveling snow at your work environment is necessary for safety, it can be strenuous. The repetitive motions, heavy lifting and cold weather can be hard on your body. If you receive the task to shovel snow, beware of exhaustion, back injuries and dehydration. You can prevent injuries by warming up before shoveling snow, scooping smaller amounts at a time, taking frequent breaks in warm areas and using proper lifting techniques.

This is just a snapshot of the potential hazards you may face at work during the winter. While this season may present unique risks, you can follow safety measures to prevent occupational winter injuries.