January 16, 2023

5 Safety Tips for Employers During Winter Hazardous Work Conditions and Workers’ Compensation Claims

The first snow has fallen in the Midwest. If you have ever lived in a cold climate, you are all too familiar with the dangers and inconveniences that come with the season’s first real snowfall. From de-icing your car and shoveling the driveway to sprinkling salt on your walkways, freezing temperatures have a wide range of implications for homeowners and business owners alike.  

For employers, it can be a pain to prepare for (and clean up after) the first snowfall, but taking the time to do so can prevent many work-related accidents. Read on for ideas on how to prevent slip and fall accidents. 

Snow and Ice in Illinois  

Employers can protect themselves from unnecessary exposure by taking quick action after a freeze or snowfall. There are many ways to help prevent slips and falls and better defend cases during the winter months, including:  

  1. Promptly removing (or having snow removal company remove) snow and ice from sidewalks, steps, walkways and parking lots.  
  2. Sprinkling salt on outdoor surfaces such as sidewalks and parking lots commonly used by employees before anticipated freezing temperatures.  
  3. Being aware that when snow and ice are tracked inside, they could create wet conditions that present a risk of slips and falls. Place additional rugs in entryways and heavily trafficked areas to help ensure that floors stay dry.  
  4. Ensuring that all surveillance systems are in working order and strategically placed/angled to capture any alleged slips and falls.  
  5. Conducting a prompt post-accident investigation of the area, including:  
  • Taking photographs of the floor/ground on which the employee claims to have fallen.  
  • Creating a detailed incident report documenting exactly what, if anything, the employee claims to have slipped on.  
  • Interviewing all witnesses to the incident.  
  • Preserving any video of the incident.  


When an employee slips and falls at work, they must still prove that some risk with ties to their employment had a part in causing the fall. This is when preparation and a strong accident investigation have the potential to defeat a workers’ compensation claim before an application is ever filed.  

Our legal team is comprised of experienced litigators who have dealt extensively with Workers’ Compensation claims like slip and falls on snow and ice. We will work with you to put your case in the best position for a favorable resolution while implementing strategies to prevent future accidents. Contact us to schedule a meeting about how we can help meet your specific defense needs. 


Kristin E. Lechowicz
Partner, Workers’ Compensation
Kelley Kronenberg-Chicago,IL.