Winter is HERE! And with it comes the elevated possibility of a workplace accident. Most mishaps can be avoided with sound strategy for dressing and working in the dangerous elements. Here are some ways to keep the workforce safe when the weather gets nasty.
On-site workers should always exhibit sound judgment skills when it comes to dressing appropriately to combat the weather. OSHA pointed out there are certain clothes that can help withstand the frigid temperature, while also providing other benefits that are necessary to staying safe.
- Boots: Water-resistant, insulated footwear helps to protect against frost bite. Make sure they have great traction for walking on ice. These can prove invaluable during storms.
- Layers: Layers of clothing help to insulate body temperature while working outside. It’s important to make sure these clothes aren’t too tight, as that can cut off circulation to extremities and lead to cold stress, according to OSHA.
- Gloves: Gloves that are water-resistant provide excellent warmth and also allow the employee to solidly grip tools and objects. After all, gloves are useless if they have to be taken off so workers can do their job.
- Headgear: A hat can effectively warm a workers whole body and shouldn’t be forgotten in the ensemble. This is especially true during rainstorms and snowstorms.
The first step in workplace safety is personal safety, which can be achieved by dressing properly for winter weather conditions. You can leverage personal protection signs to let employees know which clothes to wear so that they can stay focused and warm on the job.
Employers can strategically plan to ensure safety for their employees on work sites. Safety signs and orange cones can vastly improve safety during even the clearest conditions. According to OSHA, many work zone fatalities occur annually because of cars that lose control on the road and hit a worker in the process. Posting cones and safety signs that comply with MUTCD regulations around the work site can deter drivers from speeding and help protect your worker’s lives.
Workers must wearing high-visibility vests at all times to keep them clearly in the driver’s field of vision, according to OSHA. This can dramatically reduce risk of injury.
There are a number of situations that employers will want to be mindful of when setting up a worksite. Being extra cautious when fixing power lines, placing ladders and removing downed trees is essential.
- Ladders: Make sure to clear the ground of snow and ice where the ladder is propped up. Personal protection equipment (PPE) like non-slip boots and personal fall arrest systems is recommended.
- Power lines: Fixing the occasional downed line comes with the chance of electrocution. OSHA recommends posting warning signs near overhead lines and buried power line indicators. Avoid metal ladders that can electrocute if they come in contact with power lines.
- Downed trees: Wear PPE like non-fog goggles, gloves and hard hats. Make safety signs visible to avoid injuries to bystanders. Wear boots with traction underneath to avoid slips and falls near chainsaws and wood chippers.
Staying safe on winter worksites is easy when the proper precautions are made. Posting signs to warn workers of potentially dangerous situations and requiring the correct PPE can go a long way toward protecting workers. Personal safety cannot be excluded, as it is essential for a foundation of safe winter work. This means bundling up and wearing snow gear to make sure that the cold temperature won’t cause a work site injury.