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It is no question that working during the cold weather conditions is tough. The cold weather poses great challenges to workers because it exposes them to high risks of diseases and affects their rate of working. During the cold weather conditions, it is necessary you ensure that all your employees are safe.
There are different strategies you can use to ensure that your employees do not even recognise that the weather is cold. With the right safety measures, the productivity of your workplace is not affected and at the same time your employees do not suffer from health conditions emanating from the cold weathers.
Here are some of the most effective cold weather safety strategies you should apply in your workplace.
During the cold weather conditions, one of the ways that you can ensure safety is encouraging employees to work in groups. When employees work in small groups they do not only comfort each other, but help one another in case of dangerous situations. When working alone, it is hard for an employee to realise when they have signs of cold stress. This is where working in a group makes sense. Workmates help recognise symptoms and signs of cold stress and take the right action. Working as a team during the cold weather conditions is a perfect way to control illnesses and injuries resulting from the cold weather.
All your employees need to have knowledge on symptoms and signs of cold related diseases and cold stress. Therefore, it is necessary that all employees undergo training in this area to make them empowered. With this empowerment, it becomes easy for them to recognise when the cold weather condition is taking a toll on any of them. They should also be trained on the right actions to take when they realise that one of them is suffering as a result of the cold weather conditions. Some of the signs that show that the cold weather condition is affecting your employees include exhaustion, cold stress, dampness or wetness, hypothermia among others.
When the cold weather conditions become extreme, you have to make sure that the working areas do not have ice or snow. Ice and snow lead to higher risks of falls, slips and trips. Therefore, all areas such as the stairways, walkways and other parts should be clear of ice and snow. All items that might cause a slip or trip hazard should be removed from the way. Use barricades and temporary signs to show some of the most slippery areas to prevent accidents and injuries. Encourage all employees to keep their hands free when they walk. This is a great way to make their entire body stable and prevent falling and slipping.
During the cold weather conditions, employees should be encouraged to wear three or four layers of clothing. Wearing the clothing in layers is essential in keeping the body warm and keeping them active as they work. The outer layer of the clothing helps in removing moisture from the skin. The layer is also responsible for preventing sweat build up that causes cold stress. The outer layer of the clothing should help protect the workers from snow, wind and rain. In addition, you should also ensure you invest heavily in the right footwear. This is necessary because cold weather leads to slippery conditions, so it is good to select boots that offer the right traction. Make sure you get boots and other clothing made from a waterproof material. In addition, warm woolen socks will also help keep them warm.
It is worth noting that almost 30 percent of heat from your body escapes through the head. This means that wearing a hat can assist in boosting your body ability to retain the right amount of heat during the cold weather conditions. Therefore, when the weather is cold, it is advisable you ensure that all employees wear hats. The face should also be fully protected by wearing a face mask that protects the face from the cold too.
There are times that the weather gets extremely cold making the conditions unconducive for working. When this happens, it is good to adjust the schedule to work when the weather is warmer. When it gets extremely cold, employees can relax to alleviate cold stress and illnesses that might result.
When you are working during the cold weather conditions, taking short breaks is essential. It is necessary to take short breaks in a dry and warm place to give your body time to warm up. If possible, your workplace should have a place with a space heater or ensure that employees are take warm drinks during the breaks. These breaks are necessary because they ensure that your body does not get affected by the cold no matter how extreme it is.
It is essential to remain hydrated during the cold weather conditions. In your workplace, ensure that all employees take healthy and warm drinks. It is good you avoid drinks with caffeine because they cause restriction of the blood vessels that hinder the body capability to heat itself. The best drinks to take include sports drink or warm water.
During the cold weather condition, it is not just the slipperiness and cold that pose great risks to workers. Visibility in the workplace is also affected especially if there is snow. The weather can be very unpredictable with varying conditions. At one time, it might look clear, but the next moment you find the conditions very unclear. To enhance visibility and prevent accidents, your workers should wear reflective clothing on and off the job sites. Other clothing that can help is the battery powered gear that offers the body the required warmth.
At Brite Safety we offer high quality and durable apparel that boost cold weather safety for all your employees. We stock different clothing such as warm working jackets, reflective jackets, gloves, boots, warm socks among others.
Get in touch with us and we shall be happy to provide you with the cold weather protective clothing you need.
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