Although the arrival of winter is appreciated by many of us, it can sometimes bring certain risks. Heavy snow, freezing rain, sleet or even significant temperature variation are all conditions that increase the risk of falling.
Even if we are not able to predict and control these weather conditions, most of the falls on the ice that occur on the employer’s property could easily be avoided.
Here are some possible solutions to prevent them
As an employer, you must:
– Educate workers and supervisors by informing them of the risk of falling in winter
– Encourage workers to wear winter-appropriate footwear (shoes with non-slip or notched soles, ice crampons, etc.)
– Define the different responsibilities regarding the maintenance of the parking lot and the different accesses to the building (snow removal, spreading abrasives, etc.)
– Regularly inspect the condition of the parking lot and access to the building to confirm the absence of snow and/or ice that could cause a fall
– Make available to all an abrasive material near the accesses to the buildings
– Listen and take appropriate action in the face of dangerous situations reported by workers
As a worker, you must:
– Pay particular attention to the condition of the roadway (ice, snow, sleet, etc.)
– Promote the wearing of good winter shoes with notched or non-slip soles. Heeled shoes that do not offer a good surface for contact with the ground are to be avoided
– Reduce walking speed and promote fewer strides
– Avoid using stairs unnecessarily if weather conditions are adverse. Use the ramp of these
– Beware of wind gusts that could make you lose your balance, walk in front of it when possible
– Report situations likely to cause any risk of falling to your employer
What to do in the event of a work accident?
Unfortunately, if an injury occurred as a result of a fall, it would be necessary to make an investigation to define the precise circumstances of the accident in order to prevent the whole thing from being repeated, of course, but also to take the measure of your responsibility as an employer.
Generally, accidents occurring on land belonging to the employer will be imputed to him. However, it is necessary to assess the exact circumstances in order to analyze the eligibility of the claim to the CNESST, as well as the subsequent imputation.
It will then be useful to distinguish between a worker falling in the parking lot when arriving at work and another who fell while going to his car to get his personal cell phone during his break. The link of connection with work can therefore be debated before the CNESST or the Administrative Labour Tribunal (ALT).
It is also possible that the outdoor areas of the building are maintained by a third party, such as a snow removal company. Did the snowplow fulfill his contractual obligations by clearing snow properly and frequently or was he negligent? The imputation could then be called into question if it can be shown that he is mainly responsible for the accident by his negligence.
As these are cases where the facts are excessively important, it is important to carry out a thorough investigation as soon as possible.
Our team of experts is available to accompany you when such a situation arises.
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