Focus on safety during snow removal and cleanup

Falls cause the most worker fatalities, injuries during rooftop snow and ice removal

Posted January 14, 2019

In a new pamphlet focused on snow removal hazards, OSHA reminds employers and employees involved in snow removal and cleanup to take precautions and focus on safety. Snow removal operations can result in serious injuries or fatalities, particularly while removing ice or snow from rooftops and other building structures such as decks.

Workers performing snow removal operations may be exposed to slips, trips, and falls while walking on snow and ice, falls from roofs, roof edges, or skylights, or from aerial ladders and lifts. Roof collapses also present serious hazards to workers. Other snow cleanup hazards include being struck by vehicles, exposure to carbon monoxide, hypothermia, and being injured by powered equipment.

Before any work begins, employers should:

  • Plan ahead for safe snow removal from roofs.
  • Check the worksite for workplace hazards.
  • Limit, when and where possible, workers going on roofs to remove snow.
  • Use snow removal procedures that lower the risk of roof or structure collapse.
  • Ensure that workers follow all manufacturers’ instructions for using mechanical equipment safely.

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