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How to avoid workplace injuries in snowy conditions

Winter brings with it many activities, such as sledding, snow fighting and ice-skating. However, these fun-filled activities come with equally risky activities, such as driving on icy roads and walking across icy parking lots. Not many North Carolina residents take slip and fall injuries seriously, but every year thousands get hurt on the job in this manner, causing thousands in lost days and millions in lost wages and productivity.

To avoid these workplace accidents, the Department of Labor issued a few tips to help employees avoid workplace injuries and employers create a safe working environment. The most important thing employers can do is have a snow removal plan. Snow should not only be removed from roadways, but also from ramps, sidewalks and entrances. Employers should also keep inert materials, such as sand, on hand for employees to place on slippery surfaces they come across on their way to and from work.

Slip and fall injuries can also be avoided by placing non-slip mats at entrances to reduce snow tracks and where floors become wet because of snow, place signs indicating so immediately. Employees walking into building should use mats to wipe their feet firmly, so as not to create puddles and increase chances of accidents. Employees should also make sure they walk slowly over icy surfaces, wearing proper footwear and use handrails on inclined surfaces.

Despite precautions, North Carolina employees can get hurt on the job. Injured employees can file a workers' compensation claim to recover compensation to cover their medical costs and also highlight the dangers inherent in their workplace.

Source: Booth Bay Register, "Businesses should take precautions for winter safety," Juloe Rabinowitz, Dec. 25, 2013

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