After raving about Storm yesterday, I’m back with a sequel to blizzard or winter storm preparations. Today, I’ll be serving you with a list of safety measures when facing a winter storm while on the job. No mutants in outlandish costumes this time, but just some things to remember and apply in case you get stuck at work while the fatal chills of Mother Nature blow your way.
What to Do during a Winter Storm:
- Assign a person to regularly monitor the temperature of the work area.
- Conserve as much fuel as possible.
- Open all faucets. Pour hot water over the pipes, making sure that you start with the parts most exposed to the cold or where cold may penetrate.
- Should the pipes freeze, replace the insulation with rags or layers of newspapers wrapped around the pipes.
- Wear loose-fitting, layered, lightweight clothing. Make sure that outer garments are water-resistant and tightly woven. For the middle layer, don wool or down for better sweat absorption. Lastly, for the inner garments, use synthetic material to allow ventilation.
- Change wet clothing frequently to prevent loss of body heat.
- Don mittens instead of gloves. Fingers actually generate more heat when they touch each other.
- Drink up! You’re more at risk to get dehydrated during a winter storm with the extremely low temperature.
- Have a portable, battery-operated radio close to you. Stay tuned to it to get the latest information about the winter storm.
- Follow a buddy system. Workers should monitor each other to check for signs of hypothermia and other cold-induced illnesses and injuries.
- Before going outdoors, devote a few minutes to stretching or warm-up exercises. This is especially true if you have to shovel snow.
- While outdoors, cover your mouth to protect your lungs from the cold air. Try not to speak, as much as possible.
- Avoid overexertion, especially when shoveling snow or pushing a vehicle to prevent heart attack.
- Before going on the road, report your destination, route and expected time of arrival first. This way, should you get stuck along the way, co-workers can send a rescue team along your predetermined route.