Winter weather can make some of the simplest tasks on the job time consuming and treacherous. Not only do we move slower when it’s cold, but everything is slippery and our range of motion is restricted by bulky winter clothing. When you are confronted with rain, ice, wind, and snow, be sure to stay alert to the hazards that come with them. Be sure you know how to work safely in the cold.
Here are a few guidelines to help you stay safe this winter season.
• Whenever possible, schedule work for the warmest part of the day.
• In bad weather, avoid working on roofs or at heights, if possible.
• Be sure to protect your ears, face, hands, and feet in cold weather. Follow your mother’s advice and wear a hat, or a liner under your hard hat.
• Wear layers of clothing for cold, wet, and windy conditions. Layering provides better insulation and allows you to adjust your temperature easily.
• When you choose your cold weather clothing, remember that some clothes may restrict your movement, which can create a whole new hazard. Keep in mind that tight clothes reduce blood circulation, which makes it harder for your body to keep your extremities warm.
• Wear boots that are waterproof and insulated.
• Don’t ignore shivering. It’s one of the first signs that your body is losing heat and needs to warm up.
Many cold weather injuries result from falls on ice covered sidewalks, steps, porches, and driveways. Clear snow and ice from steps, walkways, and other walking surfaces as soon as possible after a storm.