The following is an excerpt from the article “Workplace Safety Tips for Winter” For more information please visit safetyrisk.com.au
Workplace Safety Tips for Winter
If you or your employees work in a field and location where winter weather presents some safety concerns, you may wish to take some precautions. Winter presents safety
hazards in possible frostbite, wind-chapped skin, and hypothermia, and winter weather can often be severe enough to cause amputation or death. The following are some free tips to offer your employees if they are working in severe winter elements:
- Dress warm enough to withstand the lowest forecasted temperature or wind chill temperature. Dress in layers you can remove if you begin to sweat, because sweating will increase your chance of hypothermia.
- Cover all of your exposed skin in sub-zero weather, including your face, your hands, your neck, and your eyes (wearing goggles can protect the skin around your eyes).
- Wear long underwear rated for cold weather. The best winter weather underwear will be made of polypropylene to keep water away from the skin.
- Wear mittens instead of gloves, if possible, because when your fingers touch one another, they will maintain more warmth. Do not take your mittens or gloves off for extended periods of time, and never take them off in extreme sub-zero temperatures. Your fingers and toes are subject to frostbite the quickest because they are farthest from your core and have the smallest surface area.
- Wear proper socks and boots. Waterproof boots will keep your feet dry, while multiple layers of socks and spare socks offer you the opportunity to remove or add layers.
- Take frequent breaks in warm, dry areas to warm up.
- Drink warm, sweet beverages that do not contain caffeine or alcohol.
- Eat hot, high-calorie foods to encourage your body to burn the foods and keep you warm.
- Work during the warmest part of the day, and work in pairs or groups
- Do not overwork yourself or work to exhaustion, because you may expend all of the energy needed to keep your muscles warm.