Winter is coming, so how do we protect our employees from the harsh environment? OSHA has provided a quick card on winter weather. The card is a helpful tool with a list of ‘things to watch for’ and suggestions on protecting employees, following is an additional list of things to consider.
- Understand the environmental conditions that employees will be exposed to by monitoring the forecast for the day/week.
- Being able to identify the signs and symptoms of cold-related injuries.
- Training worker on these injuries and how to protect themselves from them.
- Maintaining clear, flat walking paths around the jobsite.
- Providing or encouraging workers to wear appropriate clothing.
- Allow for short breaks in a warm place so workers can stay warm and dry.
- Schedule more tedious or intensive work during the warmest part of the day.
- Assign worker to work in pairs so they can watch out for each other.
- Suggest to employees to up their water intake and refrain from excessive caffeine and alcohol.
- Follow all medical recommendations if an employee is prescribed medicine.
Protecting our employees should be our first concern. Making sure a jobsite is free of debris can make snow removal an easier and safer process. Providing employees with warm hats and gloves suited to working in cold conditions can not only help prevent injuries but increase productivity. If an employee has a safe environment to work, not only are we keeping them happy and healthy, but also, quality and productivity can increase.