In the last week, two serious injuries have already occurred as a result of wet weather conditions.
Both incidents have involved employees slipping due to wet conditions. One employee slipped off a wet step while trying to remove a ladder from the roof of a van, injuring their knee, and another employee slipped whilst walking on wet ground, falling and breaking their ankle.
Whilst it may seem it always happens to someone else, serious injuries can occur in the simplest of circumstances and can happen to you.
Just like driving in wet conditions, we need to be mindful and more aware of our environment and surroundings when working or walking in wet conditions. Slips, trips and falls are the most common wet weather danger, in particular when working on uneven ground, declining or inclining slopes, climbing stairs and ladders.
To prevent such injuries occurring, stay focussed on where you are going, what you are doing, and what lies ahead.
What can be done differently to prevent a similar incident from occuring?
Housekeeping & Order
- Slow down. Maintain line of sight/focus on the ground surface you are walking on and limit distractions as you are moving about such as talking on your phone.
Positions of People
- Wet conditions are particularly dangerous when working in elevated positions such as using scaffold. Limit carrying items with both hands and maintain sure footing. Where available use hand rails to assist in maintaining balance and stability.
Take note of the footwear you’re using. Check that your shoes/boots have sufficient tread and anti-slip soles. Also be aware of surfaces that have different degrees of traction.
Where eye protection or glasses are being worn, fogging can occur and impede your line of sight. Antifogging spray or wipes can maintain a clear vision of the path ahead.
Keeping your eyes on your path of travel is key to preventing slips, trips and falls.
Rules & Procedures
- Ensure that appropriate planning occurs prior to works, and wet conditions are considered and controls implemented to manage potential slips, trips and falls.
Tools & Equipment
- Remember to use handrails and not rush and take more than one step at a time when using ladders and stairs. Limit the number of items you may be carrying as this can make it more difficult to find your balance if you slip slightly.
HSE Representative: Rodrigo Alvarado
Date of Issue: 22 March 2021