Winter Safety Tips to Protect Your Workers!

Icy, cold, and slick situations can make outdoor job-related accidents more common. Construction, snow removal, law enforcement workers, oil and gas stations, postal carriers, and other outdoor work are more prone to cold-weather-related injuries. But by making winter safety a priority, you can save yourself and your loved ones from unwanted accidents. We can't deny the harsh realities and struggles of winters. It encourages us to put ourselves first to avoid accidents, illnesses, and downtime. According to the reports, record-low temperatures and snowfall caused major disruptions to services like heat, water, and electricity. In this blog, we will discuss why safety awareness and preparation can go a long way in protecting your industry and your people from winter dangers.

1- Protect yourself against slips, trips, and falls

Don’t forget to wear safety gear to reduce injuries and hazards. Remove ice and snow from parking lots, sidewalks, entryways, and work areas to keep yourself and others safe. Use signs, safety cones, and barricades to mark hazards, and clean water from floors to avoid slippage and falling. Encourage all workers to wear footwear with heavy shoes for traction while working outdoors. Watch for black ice in parking lots, and avoid uneven surfaces like steps and curbs, ice, and snow.

2- Winter Driving

Winter weather is challenging for driving, causing accidents. Many incidents can happen during the winter that workers may be exposed to when executing tasks such as driving in the snow, removing snow from rooftops, and working near downed or damaged power lines. Some rules are there to follow for winter driving safety. The employer should inspect the following vehicle systems to determine if they are working properly-

  • Brake 
  • Cooling System
  • Electrical System
  • Engine
  • Tires
  • Oils
  • Exhaust System 
  • Visibility System

3- Recognize cold weather conditions and potential hazards

One of the most important things is to keep us ahead of the cold weather. And make sure you and your workers can recognize and treat weather-related incidents. Introduce your workers to the signs and symptoms of cold stress so they know what to be on the lookout for, as well as basic knowledge of first aid for treating cold-related incidents in the field.

4- Wear proper safety equipment

Every employee should take precautions properly to avoid accidents at the workplace, and this can be avoided by wearing proper PPE KIT. Personal protective equipment (PPE) includes hard hats, steel-toed boots, highly visible vests, and, depending on the noise levels, hearing protection. The PPE clothes should be highly visible, whether it is a vest, jacket, or shirt. It should be bright fluorescent orange or lime/yellow and have bright reflective material, especially if working at night, and should meet ANSI Class 2 or 3 standards.

5- Wearing the right Safety Gloves

Cold weather can be harmful even if you’re not working outside. For workers in some industries that deal with snowstorms and other dangerous winter weather conditions, these problems can get especially bad. Cold weather means an increased risk of hand injuries, whether directly related to the cold or as a side effect that prevents workers from doing their jobs safely. By wearing the correct safety gloves as per your task and work, you can avoid accidents and stay safe.

6- Create Separate Work Areas

Road construction work zones are busy areas with several work activities taking place at the same time. To avoid accidents and injuries, use cones, barrels, and barriers to outline specific areas like material storage, heavy equipment, construction, and vehicle parking. Wear clothes like a safety vest with bright fluorescent orange or lime/yellow color and have bright reflective material, especially if working at night. Use safety cones to separate the area to avoid accidents.

7- Avoid Blind Spots

Vehicles and heavy equipment are constantly moved here and there inside the work zone area. Dump trucks, compactors, pavement planers, excavators, pavers, and rollers are some of the vehicles which are heavy and accident-prone to workers. Operators should ensure that all mirrors and visual aid devices are attached and operating. Alarm clocks and lights should be accurately placed to avoid injuries and mishappenings. Remember that the driver has a limited line of sight. Always stay in visual contact with the driver.

8- Stay Hydrated

Workers executing road construction are tolerant to overexertion and heat-related illnesses. Rays like Asphalt absorb 95% of the sun’s rays, and asphalt temperatures can easily be 30° F or higher than the surrounding air temperature. Workers should drink plenty of water or liquids high in electrolytes like sports drinks or coconut water. Workers should also get out of the heat and sun as much as possible on hot days to avoid heatstroke, dehydration, and heat exhaustion.

9- Have a Site Safety Program

Every road construction scheme is different, and each work zone has its own hazards and challenges. Creating a safety program geared precisely for the site can go a long way in stopping accidents. The site-specific safety program should include recognizing all hazards and plans to prevent and mitigate them, programs to routinely inspect all equipment and material, a plan for first aid and crisis medical care in the event of an accident, and safety training schedules for all employees.

10- Be Aware of the Surroundings

You should always be aware of your surroundings while working on your job. Always be mindful of what duties you perform in your work zone. Take major precautions like avoiding walking behind any vehicles backing up or into the swing radius of heavy equipment. If you find any mishappening around your area you should tell your supervisor to take some serious steps to resolve the situation.

Winter can be harmful even if you’re not working outside. For workers in some industries that deal with snowstorms and other dangerous winter weather conditions, these problems can get especially bad. From indoor jobs to outdoor jobs workers should take all the precautions and wear proper PPE KIT to avoid accidents at the workplace. Stay Safe Stay Protected at the workplace. Follow the above rules and go to work with a smile.

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