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Slip and Fall Prevention: 5 Steps to Avoid Driver Injuries This Winter

Winter weather brings a slew of seen and unseen challenges for drivers. It makes the roads much more dangerous, of course, but the potential for injury begins long before their journeys do. Each winter, companies must have a proactive plan in place for ensuring slip and fall prevention across their workforce. 

According to OSHA, slips, trips and falls are a leading cause of workplace injury, making up 20% of all reported cases. In fact, approximately 18% of the 1,176,340 nonfatal work injuries reported in 2020 were a direct result of a slip, trip or fall. Unsurprisingly, the subsequent medical bills, lost hours and potential legal action can cause tremendous financial loss for both the driver and their employer.  

Let’s explore some of the common causes and a few simple ways to prevent injury.

Common Winter Slip, Trip and Fall Hazards

If you want to nip truck driver slips, trips and falls in the bud, you need to know what to look for. These key factors all play a role in injury prevention.  

Slick Floors 

Snow and ice can create slippery surfaces inside and outside of the truck. Be diligent in ensuring walkways, loading docks and truck steps are dry during the winter months – when fleet drivers rush to keep up with their demanding schedules, inspecting walkways is likely one of the last things on their minds.  

Uneven Surfaces  

Snow can quickly conceal trip hazards like loose debris, uneven terrain and even potholes. Clear snow and ice quickly and often, preventing any unnecessary accumulation.  

Improper Footwear 

Don’t overlook shoes, either! Drivers spend a significant amount of time on their feet, and footwear with poor tread won’t do them any favors. Studies show that proper footwear can prevent up to 70% of slip and fall incidents. Ensure your fleet is outfitted appropriately and can maintain good traction both inside the warehouse and out on the road. During winter, opt for non-slip, insulated boots with good traction.   

Careless Cargo Handling

Careless loading and unloading will cause problems in any season, but the chaos brought on by winter months is sure to exacerbate the issue. Improper lifting techniques, heightened by busy schedules, can lead to a variety of accidents.

Ensure Slip and Fall Prevention in 5 Simple “S.T.E.P.S”

1. Stay in Control  

Rushing isn’t worth it. When completing a task, it’s important that drivers maintain focus and stay calm, cool and collected.  

2. Take Care and Look  

Encourage your team to stay vigilant and inspect their surroundings for common winter hazards like wet pathways and icy ramps. 

3. Ensure a Good Grip  

When climbing into or out of their cab, fleet drivers should maintain three points of contact – both feet and at least one hand – at all times.  

4. Plan for Success 

A little proactivity can go a long way. The more your team familiarizes themselves with their surroundings, the better! Drivers can set themselves up for success by monitoring winter weather conditions, dressing appropriately and walking delivery paths in advance.  

5. Strain Means Pain  

Cold muscles are more susceptible to injury. Fleet drivers should prioritize warming up and stretching before physically demanding tasks when possible. Even a couple of minutes can make a big difference.  

Educate Your Team

Ready to take charge of your winter driver safety plan? Clear communication is the foundation of any effective risk management strategy. Our free poster, 5 S.T.E.P.S. to Prevent Injuries This Winter, reminds fleet drivers how they can protect themselves in less-than-ideal conditions. Hang it in the break room, hand it out to staff, attach it in a company-wide email or review the 5 S.T.E.P.S. in a team meeting. Click the link below to download your free copy and access our complete set of winter safety resources! 


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