The extreme cold weather during winter can make it difficult for employees who work outside to stay warm throughout the day. Taking the necessary precautions to stay warm can avoid the risk of developing several types of cold stress including: hypothermia, trench foot, or frostbite. Make sure to follow these tips to stay safe and warm while working outside this winter:
1. Wear layers of clothing
When working outside, it’s important to dress in layers to stay warm. Wear quality warm clothing such as thermal undergarments, insulated pants, coats and overalls. Make sure that your layers are long enough to cover your waist when you are bending or reaching while working. All clothing should allow adequate blood flow. If you get sweaty, consider removing a layer because inactivity after sweating can cause you to become cold again. To keep your feet warm, double up on socks and make sure your boots are thick and properly insulated.
2. Wear gloves
When working outside, choose gloves that will protect your hands from the wind and that have good insulation. Some fabrics, like leather, are very helpful in blocking the wind, and the thin, insulated layer allows you to move your fingers while remaining warm.
3. Keep your feet and head covered
Cold weather can be especially harmful in these areas. Wear insulated and water-resistant boots, as well as a warm hat and, if necessary, a facemask. Make sure your ears are covered.
4. Keep moving
Moving around, even on your downtime, will help you to stay warm. Do some form of physical activity, such as stretches, jumping jacks or walking.
5. Work together
It is a good idea to work in pairs or a team when working in the extreme cold. This allows your coworkers to watch for the initial subtle symptoms of cold stress. Intense shivering and confusion are among the most common signs of cold stress.
6. Consume hot beverages & eat a warm lunch
Drinking warm beverages like coffee and tea throughout the day will help to keep you warm and fight the cold-induced lethargy. Eating a warm lunch will help warm your body up and keep you warm as you continue to work through the rest of the day.
By taking the necessary precautions to stay warm while working outside during the winter, you will be able to lower your risk of hypothermia, trench foot and frostbite. Our safety department ensures that our employees are prepared to work outside in all weather conditions.
Call us today to receive a free quote for your next industrial project, (888) 833-8776.
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With winter now in full swing, we have some tips for staying safe while working during the colder and snowier months.
When working on a roof:
When working on a roof during the winter there are several conditions that could be hazardous to workers. Make sure the area is inspected for safety before work begins on the roof. Slippery surfaces due to temperature drops, hidden skylights or electrical hazards from overhead power lines or snow removal equipment all pose a risk to employees. Training on how to use the correct PPE and equipment for the job can protect workers from unnecessarily working in hazardous conditions.
Snow and ice cause surfaces to become slippery and hazardous to everyone. To minimize the risk of slipping and falling, employees should wear water-resistant boots with good rubber treads on them while walking on slippery surfaces. Walking at a slower pace and taking shorter steps will also allow you to react if there is a change in traction.
Many employees drive company vehicles or operate mechanized equipment every day. Employers should ensure that the vehicles are in proper working order. Several systems should be inspected including: the break system, cooling system, electrical system, exhaust system and visibility systems. The oil level and tire inflation levels should also be checked.
Make sure to also complete these safety checks on your personal and family’s vehicles too. It is a good idea to keep an emergency kit in your car.
A car emergency kit should include:
- Cellphone or two-way radio
- Windshield ice scraper
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Tow chain
- Traction aids (bag of sand or cat litter)
- Emergency flares
- Jumper cables
- Blankets, change of clothes
The cold and snow make working conditions more treacherous. However, following these OSHA tips can help minimize the risks employees face during the winter season.