Parcel delivery can be tough work year round, but the job gets even harder during winter months. Need proof? "Snow" is the first challenge listed in the U.S. Postal Service's oft-quoted service pledge: "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."
Both couriers and their managers should take the season seriously, warns Michael Summers, director of safety and risk management for the Atlanta-based staffing firm Randstad USA. Even when they can avoid slick roadways, pedestrians often suffer slips, trips, and falls, the humble trio of accidents that cause more productivity loss than any other winter injuries, Summers says.
To help promote occupational safety, the staffing company has issued tips for avoiding winter-related accidents. Among its suggestions for parcel delivery personnel and couriers are to wear nonskid footwear with heavy treads for increased traction, to walk along the grassy edges if the walkway is covered with ice, and, perhaps most importantly, to walk slowly and in small shuffling steps to prevent slipping.
"You just need additional awareness," Summers says. "With delivery work, you're holding packages and can't even see the ground in front of you. It's not rocket science; just slow down, especially if you're carrying something."
For more of the company's winter safety tips, visit www.randstadusa.com.