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Our blog discussing workplace safety opportunities in Nova Scotia and around the world.


Walking (and working) safely in a Winter Wonderland

This time of year many of us eagerly wait for the first dusting of snow to jumpstart our holiday cheer, but with festive weather comes slick roads and walkways, heavy loads and white-out conditions.  

While many winter weather-related injuries are the result of slips and falls on ice, or motor vehicle accidents caused by poor driving conditions, many injuries are also musculoskeletal. Those injuries, from activities like moving heavy, wet snow, represent part of the 60 per cent of all time-loss injuries that affect the skeleton, muscles, and tissues. Musculoskeletal injuries remove thousands of Nova Scotians from the workforce every year, with untold impact on their professional and personal lives.

Here are some tips for preventing common winter injuries:

Slips and Falls
  • Wear non-slip shoes or boots
  • Always clear ice and snow off all walkways, steps and work areas
  • Use sand or salt on walkways and parking lots
  • Ensure ladders and scaffolds are completely free of ice and snow
Shoveling Snow
  • Push snow rather than lift it
  • If you have to lift, protect your back by lifting safely:
  1. Stand with feet at hip width for balance; be aware of ice
  2. Hold shovel close to body
  3. Space hands shoulder-width apart to increase leverage
  4. Bend knees, and lift with legs not your back
  5. Tighten stomach muscles
  6. Don't twist
  7. Don’t lift higher than waist level
  8. Walk to dump snow rather than throw it
  •  When snow is deep or heavy, shovel small amounts at a time
Motor Vehicle Collisions
  • Get a vehicle maintenance check-up
  • Switch to winter tires
  • Check weather and travel conditions before heading out
  • Clear snow and ice from all windows, lights, mirrors and roof
  • Keep gas and windshield washer fluid tanks full

Be sure to check out these useful links for a safer winter season:

http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/motorvehiclesafety/safevehicles-safetyfeatures-winterdriving-index-693.htm
http://www.cos-mag.com/PPE/PPE-Stories/10-safety-tips-for-the-winter-worker.html


 


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