Cold weather safety should be important to employers. Taking necessary safety precautions will reduce workplace injuries, resulting in lower claims cost. As temperatures get colder, employers must take precautions to prevent frostbite, hypothermia, and dehydration in their employees. Employers must educate their employees on the signs of cold weather related conditions in order to keep them safe.

Key steps for cold weather safety:

  • Remove hazards such as snow or ice on sidewalks
  • Take breaks frequently to warm up
  • Know the warning signs of hypothermia and frostbite, and take necessary actions when experiencing symptoms
  • Inspect equipment and tools for ice build-up before using
  • Check that employees protective clothing stay dry
  • Ensure employees have a cold weather safety kit
  • Ensure employees are wearing the proper protective clothing to stay warm

OSHA‘s protective clothing recommendations for working in cold environments:

  • Wear at least three layers of loose fitting clothing
  • An inner layer of wool, silk or synthetic to wick moisture away from the body
  • A middle layer of wool or synthetic to provide insulation even when wet
  • An outer layer to protect from wind and rain that allows ventilation to prevent overheating
  • Wear a hat/hood to keep the whole body warmer (Hats/hoods reduce the amount of heat that escapes when the head is exposed)
  • Use a knit mask to cover the face and mouth (if needed)
  • Wear insulated and/or waterproof boots or other footwear to protect the feet (Use non-slip/skid-proof if needed)
  • Use insulated gloves to protect the hands (use water resistant if necessary)
  • Keep a change of dry clothing available in case work clothes become wet

Keeping your workforce safe, especially during cold weather, is priority one for your company. Sheakley Risk and Safety Solutions can help you develop better policies and provide assistance with developing safety programs to help you achieve your safety goals. Our experts are here to keep your employees and your business safe.

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