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Air Force ‘Get’s a Grip’ on slippery conditions

GOWEN FIELD, Boise, Idaho -- Frosty winter landscapes may be a pleasant site but last year slips and falls were the number one contributor to winter injuries here at Gowen Field.

Senior Master Sgt. Becky L. Coles from the 124 WG Safety office said that even a thin layer of frost can cause slippery conditions on roads and side walks.

Military personnel have been identified by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to be at an increased risk of injury during winter storms due to the physical demands and the nature of many of our jobs.

The Air Force has recognized the need for better traction in slippery conditions and has issued an Extension of an Air Force-Wide Variance stating, "In areas subject to snow/ice conditions, organizations may permit the use of removable metallic shoe cleats to improve traction on ice/snow covered surfaces and prevent worker slips and falls." AFOSH 91-100 AF-Wide Extension Metallic Cleats was released for distribution
Nov. 17, 2008.

There are a few exceptions. The Extension specifies that, "Cleats will not be worn when working when working on or inside aircraft, near fueling, defueling or fuel cell repair type operations, or operations using flammable solvents, paints, etc."

Coles explained that they can be purchased at most sporting good stores and they are great for anyone who works outside or walks regularly.

Metallic cleats will fit over almost any kind of boot or shoe.