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Identify and Remove Those Slip and Trip Hazards for a Safe February

By Sally Murdoch

Cold weather brings special safety considerations

The shortest month of the calendar is often the wettest one, and February marks a good time to shore up slip and fall hazards that are particularly acute when it’s cold in the homestretch of winter. The first step in abating common causes of slips and falls is to perform a safety audit. Identifying these hazards now can pay safety dividends year round, and Graphic Products shows you how in its complimentary Facility Audit Guide.

Spill hazard signs remind workers to report incidents immediately

Signage and Spill Containment Go Hand in Hand for Safety

Contaminants spilled on the floor, including water, oil, and grease, are major causes of slips, trips, and falls. While containment is key to avoiding them, so is signage alerting staff and pedestrians of the dangers. Graphic Products has a large selection of preprinted slips, trips, and falls signage geared toward the service industry that works to keep everyone safe. Spill signs help remind staff to clean spills immediately. Having a good spill containment program is required by OSHA, and in the case of hazardous materials, is critical that the spills are reported. 

One of the most popular items in Graphic Products' online spill control and containment catalog is the 20-Gallon Spill Kit, which includes gloves, absorbent pillows, pads and a sock to absorb and contain the spilled liquid quickly. Handy and efficient, this kit is one of several of Graphic Products' spill containment items you can count on to mitigate spill damage when needed.

Cold Weather Considerations for Slips and Trips

Removing snow and ice from roofs and sidewalks is a good policy in every business setting, and is mandatory in many states. Your building may have overhangs that are dry one day, and the next day are covered in snow and icicles. Workers standing on the ground removing snow from the roof, or bystanders can become trapped under snow falling from roofs and could suffocate. It may be a good policy to warn of the dangers with a falling ice sign.

Falling Ice sign is a good policy to warn against the dangers

According to OSHA in Boise, Idaho, a city known as a winter wonderland, many occupational injuries occur in relation to ice and snow. David Kearns, OSHA's Boise area director, said in a recent press release: "As people work to remove snow from roofs and other elevated surfaces, proper fall protection is essential. With these safeguards, falls are wholly preventable. Despite these warnings, falls remain the leading cause of serious injuries and deaths during snow removal."

As well as fall protection, OSHA encourages workers removing snow to check ladder rungs for ice, as a slippery step can cause a fatal fall. On a similar note, Graphic Products offers a number of ladder and scaffolding safety signs on its site, and a host of resources on ladder and scaffolding safety.

Stairs and Wet Floors are a Formula for Disaster

For steps that tend to get slippery, such as near entrances, caution steps provide added assurance for climbing and descent safety.

Caution steps from Graphic Products add an extra layer of safety and tread

If your stairs are on an exit path or egress, PathFinder Tread Glow Tape is great for both handrails and steps. This tape glows for hours even after the lights go out, enhancing tread and safety through lighting the way, even in the case of an emergency.

Adding tread is a no-brainer at most businesses where wetness can enter buildings and make slips a reality. When aggressive tread is needed to guard against falls, Graphic Products’ extra course tread has aggressive adhesive, suited for the highest traffic areas in a building. This tread helps prevent slips by adhering to the highest safety standards. Perfect for industrial areas such as walkways, stairwells, work areas, machine shops, industrial equipment, trucks, and trailers. It’s also suitable for marine applications such as ramps, docks, and boat deck areas.

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