When Jack Frost comes nipping at your nose, and you don’t take sufficient precautions, your employees are the ones to suffer. When the temperature drops, outdoor staff can get frostbite, hyperthermia, and cold stress, which can be fatal.
Top Ideas for Cold Weather Safety
Here are some of the top solutions to increase cold weather safety for your employees:
1. Wear appropriate clothing
Encourage your employees to layer up during the winter, especially when the temperature drops significantly. They should also cover their ears, face, and hands by wearing waterproof hats, gloves, and boots and carry an extra change of clothing if they get wet. The extra layers will be a welcome relief if the temperature keeps dropping.
2. Limit time outside
Create shift timings around the weather to protect employees from frostbite. Limit their time outside on extremely cold or windy days and make sure they have a space where they can warm up and take their breaks. If it is extremely cold outside, reschedule tasks for warmer days.
3. Maintain a buddy system
Train workers to be vigilant regarding their health while working in extreme weather conditions such as winter storms. However, they may not realize their health is deteriorating before it is too late. Create a buddy system so workers can monitor their health as well as the health of their co-workers.
4. Make sure they remain dry
Damp clothing can make your body temperature drop fast. Make sure your workers wear a base layer underneath their clothing and gloves that can absorb sweat. If they do get wet, make sure they change and dry up as soon as possible. The longer they stay in damp clothes, the higher their chances of developing hypothermia.
5. Overcommunicate plans to employees
When it comes to surviving the winter, you can never be too cautious. Power outages are common during winter storms, and the outage will take out heat and communication services for several hours. Develop a plan that allows workers to remain warm and in communication while they work during this time. Make sure they are clear on those plans beforehand. That way, they will know what to do and how to remain healthy during a power outage.
6. Make sure all vehicles have weather safety kits
A cold weather safety kit can ensure your employees remain warm if their truck or any company vehicle they are using breaks down in the middle of a storm. The kit should include candles, matches, and a blanket. A burning candle can emit enough warmth to prevent hypothermia, and the blanket will do the rest. These tips will also help.
7. Keep work areas clear of ice and snow
Snow and ice can increase the chances of slips, trips, and falls. Make sure all walkways, driveways, work areas, and stairs are clear to prevent this from happening. Mark wet areas with signs and barricades so workers can steer clear.
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