How many of you have been watching the Winter Olympics? I have watched some, but I can truly see all the snow and ice by just looking out my window. I can also do enough skating without a judge scoring me.
Trust me, this week I have fallen many times with a perfect 10 score as my goal.
Icy conditions can cause severe injuries because a slip or slide abruptly causes a loss of balance, which results in a fall, impacting the surface below. The most common severe injuries occur to the hips, back or head.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2014, there were 42,480 workplace slip-and-fall injuries involving ice, sleet or snow that required at least one day away from work to recuperate. This does not include thousands more winter slip-and-fall related injuries that were minor and did not result in lost work time.
Here are some simple guidelines to reduce the risk of a slip / fall injury from icy conditions:
• Use the proper footwear that can provide some slip resistance and traction.
• Take short steps or shuffle and try to ensure your torso stays balanced over your feet.
• Keep your hands out of your pockets. You can help break your fall with your hands free if you do start to slip and by placing your arms out to your side can help to maintain your balance.
• Utilize handrails and grab bars or follow a fence line in an effort to maintain your stability by holding on to a solid object.
• If applying salt to travel paths is not an option, apply sand, gravel, kitty liter, floor dry or some abrasive substance to provide a texture for traction.
• Use grassy areas as a secondary travel path. This will provide a course texture to increase traction while walking.
• Take extra precaution around livestock watering areas. Ice can form in these areas by water being splashed or dripped around the perimeter of the tank.
• Minimize distractions to remain alert to icy hazards and avoid carrying bulky items that block your view.
• When transitioning from the bright outdoor environment to indoor areas, stop briefly to allow your vision to catch up with the change in lighting in order to recognize hazards ahead.
• Use special care when entering and exiting vehicles or equipment; use the vehicle for support.
• Use 3 points of contact when mounting or dismounting large equipment (1 hand /2 feet) or (2 hands/1 foot). Ensure there is solid footing on the ground before final dismounting.
I’m sure we will have a few more wintry episodes similar to last week yet before spring gets here in about a month.
Ag Safety Day
In the meantime, don’t forget our Ag Safety Day, to be held at the Clinton County Fairgrounds on Wednesday, February 23. Sessions planned will be related to grain bin safety and rescue, storing hazardous materials on the farm, farm truck safety, Stop-the-Bleed, mental health and more.
This event may also qualify as necessary training credits for those who are carrying Workers’ Compensation.
To accommodate people’s schedules, the day is split into two separate sessions folks can attend. You can choose between a morning session or an afternoon session. The topics covered will be the same during each session of the day.
Lunch will be a common period during the day for each session. Session One will begin at 8am with registration and refreshments, Session Two will begin with registration and lunch at noon.
This event is free to anyone wanting to learn more about Farm Safety. It is free but we ask that people register to help us with our planning. You can register by going to the EMA website at https://www.cc-ema.org/events-1. You can also call one of our three offices at: Tony Nye, Clinton County Extension at (937) 382-0901; Ashley Rose, Clinton County Farm Bureau at (937) 382-4407; or Thomas Breckel, Local Emergency Commission at (382) 382-6673.
Tony Nye is the state coordinator for the Ohio State University Extension Small Farm Program and has been an OSU Extension Educator for agriculture and natural resources for over 30 years, currently serving Clinton County and the Miami Valley EERA.