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.