Canadian Occupational Safety

September/October 2020

Canadian Occupational Safety (COS) magazine is the premier workplace health and safety publication in Canada. We cover a wide range of topics ranging from office to heavy industry, and from general safety management to specific workplace hazards.

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Page 38 of 51 39 that we found to address these concerns is mandating or recommending mid-sole ice cleats. An emerging approach to winter traction, mid-sole ice cleats are placed in the arch of the foot and secured with a one-size-fits-all adjustable strap. When outdoors, the industrial quality studs are engaged to provide traction on ice and snow. When the employee transitions indoors, the studs can be disengaged by rotating the cleats to the top of the foot. This functionality allows the cleats to be left on footwear for the entire winter season. The mid-sole ice cleat tackles the grey area by making traction easily accessible when it's needed without creating additional hazards or standing in the way of getting a job done. Jean at Hydro Ottawa touted the convenience of the mid-sole design: "The mid-sole ice cleats are very convenient. I ask our staff to put them on their work boots and leave them on during the winter months; very easy to flip to top of boot when entering indoors." Similarly, Ron at BMWC Constructors highlighted the specific benefits of the K1 Series Mid-Sole Ice Cleats: "This was a big problem until we found the K1 Mid-Sole. Being able to rotate the spikes when transitioning made it easier on the employees and prevented the loss of many pairs of ice cleats." 3. Who on your team is subject to your ice cleat policy? Fifty per cent of respondents require everyone on site to wear ice cleats when their policy is in effect, including those who work mostly indoors throughout the day. The remaining 50% of respondents only require employees who often work outdoors to adhere to ice cleat policy. While employees who regularly work outdoors must always be equipped with ice cleats, tackling the grey area requires a broader approach. An outsized number of slip and fall incidents occur among employees who are only intermittently or infrequently walking on ice and snow. Common examples of concern include (i) the walk from the parking lot to the front door of the office and (ii) walking between buildings on corporate or academic campuses. To tackle the grey area, absolutely everyone on site needs to be aware of slip and fall hazards and "The mid-sole ice cleats are very convenient. I ask our staff to put them on their work boots and leave them on during the winter months." Jean, Hydro Ottawa must be equipped with ice cleats that are easy to use. Scott at Westlake Chemical eliminated the grey area by making sure everyone on his team was protected: "Anyone that enters the site must wear ice cleats. Employees, contractors, deliveries, security, everyone." Ian at Aluma Safway ensured that his ice cleat policy included areas on site where employees may let their guard down: "Ice cleats are required for anyone walking outside when conditions warrant their use — from the parking lot to the lunch trailers included." 4. How do you monitor compliance with your ice cleat policy? Compliance with ice cleat policy is both a challenge and one of the greatest contributors to the grey area around ice cleat policy. Reponses to this question varied considerably. All respondents use regular spot Brought to you by checks and audits to monitor and manage compliance. The safety leader at Tornado Global Hydrovacs uses the Hi-Vis straps on his team's cleats to help supervisors monitor compliance: "Bright orange straps on the K1 Mid-Sole make them quite visible." While nearly all respondents use some type of warning and education system to handle near-miss incidents, 45% of respondents use disciplinary action for non-compliance with ice cleat policy. Like any program, ice cleat policy is most effective when it moves beyond the threat of discipline and becomes part of the on-site culture. When employees hold each other accountable, we have the greatest chance of eradicating the grey area and keeping teams safe. Ian at Aluma Safway relies both on supervision from managers and a culture of accountability: "Supervisors and health and safety advisors continually monitor PPE compliance. We also promote 'buddies keeper' culture and encourage people to 'see something, say something' to their fellow workers." In conclusion, each of these industry leaders are tackling the grey area, managing risks and reducing injuries by developing effective policy through prevention, perception and products. To learn more about the K1 Series Ice Cleats used by these safety professionals and their teams, visit to request a sample. COS

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