Newspaper chain makes ice cleats mandatory

The corporate parent of the Mankato Free Press has ordered all reporters and photographers to wear ice cleats in winter weather, Jim Romenesko reports.

He’s intercepted a memo from the executive offices of Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.

Corporate has decided that all employees who travel for the company must wear ice cleats in snowy or icy This includes reporters and photographers in your department. This would include an employee who walks to pick up the police reports, etc.

I need the names and shoe sizes of all editorial employees who should wear the shoe protection. The ice cleats will be ordered and paid for by the company. Corporate will place the order after we send in our information. There is also training information and a training log that will be signed by any employee required to wear the shoe protection.

“And helmets with mouthguards, also knee and elbow pads. And jockstraps, though HR is still deciding if they should be required for female employees,” a commenter wag adds.

The blog “Winter Walking,” written by a company that makes ice cleats, oddly enough, suggests an approach that’s more like housebreaking a puppy.

This winter, buy a few pairs of ice cleats and keep them stored in your office until the first snow day. That morning, take those few pairs (but not enough for everyone) and pull aside a select handful of employees. Ask them if they would mind trying out a new product that you’re really excited about.

Trust me, it will not take long for the workers who were not selected to take notice of those who were. At that point, whether its curiosity, envy, ego or something else, the usual desire to resist will fall by the wayside. Before you know it, you’ll have people asking why THEY didn’t get a pair of ice cleats!

For the record: When I fell and dislocated my shoulder in November, I was wearing ice cleats.

  • Paul Weimer

    I was just talking about on twitter nearly breaking my neck at Gooseberry Falls a couple of winters back. I did not have any ice cleats and should have.

  • kevinfromminneapolis

    Is this a gag?

  • Brian

    Probably not a gag but it *is* CNHI which is a bit of a joke.

  • L. Foonimin

    just goes to prove there are too many attorneys practicing defensive law …

  • shushie

    Obviously, no one understands how serious slips and falls are and what they cost, not only, the company but the individual that’s put out of commission.
    I suggest that some of you who are making light of the situation do a little homework and you will find out that this is a Win – Win situation.

  • John

    Remember folks, the only way to stay truly safe is to never do anything. Stay home, don’t go outside. Heck, don’t even get out of bed. You might slip on your way to the bathroom.

    I know, you’re thinking, “but what about bed sores?” just make sure you turn over every 60-90 minutes, and you’ll be fine.

    I get what they’re trying to do, really. I’m sure there was a similar derision of bicycle helmets when they first came out (probably there still is in some corners of the web). Sometimes, however, I wonder about nannying as performed by corporate headquarters. Don’t they think their staff (who were presumably hired partly because they possess the necessary critical thinking skills to write/edit newspaper articles) could make an intelligent decision about whether or not they should be wearing cleats?

    Related: If you are wearing Yak Tracks (or whatever they are called), stay off of bare concrete. You will fall. They are supremely slippery on that kind of surface.