Posted by Melissa Hall in #YHSafetyTips, Nov 21, 2018
Winter weather has arrived! Make sure you and your team stay safe by implementing safe work practices to prevent injuries.
Best Practices for Cold Weather Work Environments
Monitor workers who are at risk for cold stress
According to the National Institute for Safety and Health (NIOSH), cold stress is defined as a number of medical conditions resulting from prolonged exposure to extreme cold that can result in serious injuries, or even death if left untreated. NIOSH lists hypothermia, cold water immersion, trench foot, frost bite and chilblains as types of cold stress.COLD STRESS
Be aware of how the community warns the public about severe weather including outdoor sirens, radio, and television
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides multiple ways to stay informed about winter storms. If you are notified of a winter storm watch, advisory or warning, follow instructions from your local authorities.
Dress Properly For the Weather
Wear Layers of Loose-Fitting Clothing
Tight clothing reduces blood circulation – wear loose clothing to ensure warm blood is circulated throughout body.
Ideally you should wear three layers: An inner layer of a wool, silk, or synthetic fabric to wick moisture away from the body; A middle layer of wool or synthetic fabric to provide insulation, even when wet; and an outer layer that provides wind and rain protection with some ventilation to prevent overheating.
Insulated and waterproof gloves should also be worn to protect your hands from the extreme weather.
Wear Knit Hat and Mask
Wear a knit hat that covers your ears and head to reduce the amount of heat that escapes from your head. In extreme temperatures, you can add a mask that covers your face and mouth.
Insulated and Waterproof Boots
Workers should wear proper work boots with rubber treads to prevent slips and falls outdoors. Your boots should be waterproof and insulated to keep feet warm and dry when working in ice and snow.
Dealing with Snow and Ice
Unfortunately, there may be times when extreme temperatures or large amounts of snow and ice will cause the need to reschedule work. If this is the case, inform workers about your emergency procedures and alert them when it is safe to return to the jobsite. As a company, your top priority should be keeping all workers safe in the winter months.
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