Cold Weather Safety Tips in the Workplace
‘Tis the season to be cautious. While these days are merrier with colorful decor lining the streets and holiday tunes harmonizing in the air, conditions on the job are dangerous now more than any time of the year. This is true for places where the holidays usher in the harsh colds of winter. With all the snow and ice from the heavens, winter also blesses us with wet and slippery grounds. That is why employees working outdoors are at a big risk of slipping and falling on the job. Below we’ll discuss the best cold weather safety tips in the workplace.
Ice and Snow Accumulation
As with any unsafe condition on the job, snow and ice accumulation can be eliminated by following these simple yet effective safety guidelines:
- Wear shoes or boots with non-slip or non-skid soles.
- Monitor weather conditions by knowing the latest weather updates.
- Don’t allow snow or ice to accumulate in work areas. Clear them off immediately, especially if they run off on scaffolds and roofs.
- Always clear of ice and snow all walkways and entrance steps to buildings.
- Use anti-slip materials like sand or salt to make walkways and parking lots less slippery.
- Store shovels and gloves in areas known to all personnel.
- Always wear a hard hat when going outdoors. This should protect you from falling objects, as well as impacts caused by slips on slippery surfaces.
- Inspect overhead areas to make sure that snow and ice do not accumulate on them.
- Before using ladders, ensure that they are completely free of ice, snow and other materials that may cause slips or falls.
- To keep ladders and scaffolds well-maintained and protected from snow and ice, cover them before the end of the shift.
- Before using equipment and tools used for ice, inspect them well first. Ensure they are not covered with ice or they have the potential to hurt you or others when dropped.
- Wear proper fall protection when clearing slippery materials of high places. For double protection, consider installing safety rails on such areas.
- Follow proper procedures in safe lifting and shoveling.
- Make sure areas that may have unseen ice or snow are well-lighted and equipped with directional markings.
As if snow- and ice-related injuries are not enough, certain health conditions may hit workers because of severe cold. That is, they are at risk of developing hypothermia or frostbite because of the dropping temperature. These conditions are generally known as cold stress. Tomorrow, we’ll talk more about cold stress with safety guidelines you must follow to avoid exposure.
For now, stay safe outdoors by wearing proper PPE, and clearing away all unwanted snow and ice.
We have complete OSHA compliant safety solutions for all your needs. Call (877) 476-8979 today to speak with one of our highly skilled safety experts about cold weather safety tips in the workplace.