Employers that do not take adequate precautions to guard against winter hazards may experience more workplace injuries. Maintaining workplace safety requires different precautions during the winter, when many retail businesses in Maryland see a sharp increase in their rate of online sales as well as in-store customer traffic. As a result, conditions on store and warehouse floors often deteriorate. Businesses can prevent accidents by investing in basic winter safety equipment and strategies, including the practice of implementing pallet-racking inspections to ensure that proper procedures are being followed.
OSHA recommends that employers prevent slip-and-fall accidents and other winter hazards by providing shoes with proper gripping soles. Employers should also post clear signs in hazardous areas around the sales floor and other work spaces. Good lighting is essential to help customers and employees see where they are going and prevent them from slipping and falling over items or unsafe surfaces. Wet floors should be dried as soon as possible, and floors coated with grit can prevent slips even on wet surfaces.
Employees who are exposed to the cold air should have access to food and water to increase warmth and prevent dehydration. While hypothermia and frostbite are well-known causes of winter workplace injury, dehydration is often overlooked. Creating a warm, safe workplace can not only keep employees comfortable, but it can prevent numerous types of winter accidents as well.
An employee who is injured in a workplace accident may be eligible to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Workplace injuries can be serious, and an attorney can often provide assistance to an injured employee in ensuring that the claim is timely filed and that it contains all necessary supporting documentation.