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Many hazards that can lead to worker injury can be found in the construction industry. In addition to the safety hazards that are encountered year-round, and winter brings its own set of challenges and hazards. During the winter, construction workers are often exposed to extreme cold and high winds, as well as snow and ice which can lead to dangerous slips, trips and falls. 

Slips, trips and falls can result in bruises, abrasions, broken limbs, cracked and broken ribs, serious back injuries and even trauma to the head, so it is important to do everything possible to prevent these hazards on worksites and keep employees safe.



According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, falls, slips, and trips are among the most frequent types of fatal events in the construction industry, representing a significant portion of all fatalities. In 2019, these types of accidents accounted for 37.9% of all fatalities in the construction industry, which was a notable increase over the previous year​​.

Additionally, the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) reports that these incidents are leading causes of both nonfatal and fatal injuries in construction, with over 20,000 nonfatal and approximately 300 fatal injuries annually since 2013.

Lastly, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) slips, trips and falls account for more than a quarter of all workplace injuries.

These injuries are preventable. There are many things employers can do—especially during the winter—to ensure that workers’ feet stay safely on the ground and fall injuries don’t happen.  Employees need to be aware that they play a role in minimizing these types of claims and can assist with recognizing risks such as snowmelt creating slippery indoor floors and icy conditions outdoors.

It’s no surprise the risk of slipping, tripping, and falling increases dramatically during winter months for construction workers. To help you stay safe and prevent slips, trips, and falls consider the following:

  • Each day before work starts up, the jobsite should be inspected to make sure it’s free of potential hazards that could injure workers. Overnight, ice might have accumulated on the site. These new hazards must be addressed and taken care of before work is resumed.
  • Companies should provide and put down salt or sand to melt ice and provide better traction, and remove large pieces of ice to prevent slips, trips and falls.  Consider leaving buckets of sand and ice melt in parking lots so employees can be helpful in reducing claims when hazards exist.
  • When walking outside, construction workers should always use caution and be aware of where they are walking. They should walk in well-lit areas with their hands free just in case they fall.
  • Use special care when getting in and out of work trucks and vehicles. Use handles for support.
  • Avoid carrying items that reduce ability to see the surrounding area which may be slippery and contain trip hazards.
  • When walking, make sure the route ahead is clear of hazards such as rocks, clumps of snow, or a stray branch.
  • Walk slowly and take small steps.
  • Wear footwear that has slip-resistant soles. Slip-resistant soles lessen the chance of slipping on ice, snow, or water. Removing as much snow and water as possible from shoes will decrease your chance of slipping when walking around inside.

Eliminating these types of injuries before they happen is crucial in maintaining employee safety and claim prevention.