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The dangers of black ice

The danger of a snowy, slippery sidewalk is easy enough to see. Not so obvious is a sidewalk or roadway covered in "black ice."  Black ice is a nearly invisible icy glaze that forms when the outdoor air or ground temperature is at or below 32 degrees F, and moisture -- whether from rain, sleet, melt water, or water vapor -- freezes on contact. Meteorologists say that black ice most often forms around dawn and in the late evening when temperatures are typically the lowest and, compounding the danger, when visibility is often the poorest.
When temperatures fall below 40 degrees, look out for:
  •  Pavement that looks dark, wet, or like new asphalt.
  •  Low-lying or sloped areas that may have standing water or run off from nearby melting snow banks or puddles.
  •  Any walkway or road areas that are shaded from the sun.
Everyone should:
  • Pay attention to the temperature! When the air temperature drops into the 30's, even if the weather has been dry, be on the lookout for black ice.
  • Wear proper footwear -- choose shoes and boots with treaded soles and low or no heels. Almost 25% of slip and fall injuries are caused by poor footwear.
  • Use handrails on stairs and ramps, especially outdoor steps or stairs.
Maintenance and Facilities mangers, staff and Safety & Health Committees play a crucial role in preventing these types of accidents. Keeping walkways and roadways sanded and clear of ice and snow is crucial during cold weather. Please visit the CIRMA website to order a Slip and Fall Prevention Training Kit -- free to CIRMA members!

Visit our website to download Awareness posters and Employee Safety handouts, and to order a Slip and Fall Training Kit!

For more information and to start a Slip and Fall Prevention program in your entity, please contact your Risk Management Consultant.
Slip and fall injuries are common, costly, and often preventable!
 
Copyright © 2017 Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agency, All rights reserved.


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