Industrial Winter Safety
The leaves are falling and so is the temperature. Winter will be here shortly. While it is beautiful and enchanting, winter can pose some major hazards if you haven’t prepared for it. Failing to recognize and respect the dangers of winter is not recommended.
Whether you are traveling through, working in, or enjoying the weather, the following industrial winter safety tips are helpful to ensure your safety and good health:
Wear Layered Clothing
Multiple layers of loose-fitting clothing allow the worker to adjust their comfort level and protection based on the current temperature. Tight fitting clothes reduce blood circulation. Many forget the danger of sunburn when it is cold outside, but it is always important to protect from the sun. Wear a hat, scarf or face covering and always wear waterproof gloves. Also, it is wise to keep a change of clothes with you in case your existing clothes get wet. Being wet can increase the rate of heat loss from the body.
It’s easy to forget the simple importance of hydration when it is cold outside. It’s not like the steamy summer months when we know we are sweating. You still sweat—even in cold temperatures. For optimal performance, keep the body hydrated.
Breaks are Good
When the weather is particularly cold and/or windy, regular breaks are important. If possible, take a break inside or under shelter where you can warm up a bit. If it gets very cold, get inside and warm up.
Wear Good Shoes
Wear proper footwear when tackling winter weather. A pair of water resistant and insulated boots with rubber treads is important for industrial winter safety. Slow your pace and shorten your steps when navigating snowy/icy walkways.
Know the Signs
Frostbite and hypothermia can set in unexpectedly. Get inside if you begin to experience either. If a co-worker seems to be manifesting signs, help them get help immediately. Be aware of those around you and take care of each other.
Proper Heat Ventilation
If using a non-electric heater, ensure that there is proper ventilation to let gasses like carbon monoxide escape.
Prepare for Winter Driving
Top off your fluids, drive slowly and allow yourself additional time to travel. Pay attention to changing road conditions.
Make sure that walkways, paths, stairs, and entries are free from snow and ice. Do this as quickly as possible when a winter storm sets in. Slips, trips, and falls will decrease dramatically when the path is clear. Powerblanket offers a NEW method for clearing the path that does not use chemicals or salt, or require you to break your back shoveling. Summerstep™ industrial snow melting mats use radiant heat technology to melt snow and ice on walkways, stairs and doorways, improving industrial winter safety. Not only does Summerstep melt away the existing ice and snow, but as the storm continues, the path will stay clear as accumulating snow will instantly melt away. Summerstep heated walkway mats can be linked together to match the length you need to ensure safe travels.
Always use proper engineering controls, safe work practices, and personal protective equipment (PPE) required by your employer in all work conditions.