Outdoor work requires proper preparation, especially in severe winter weather conditions. Employers should provide a workplace free from recognized hazards and arm employees with the knowledge to mitigate potential hazards. If possible, shield work areas from drafts or wind to reduce wind chill. Engineering controls, such a radiant heaters, can also be effective in reducing cold stress risk.
Train employees on:
• Preventing cold stress injuries and illnesses and recognizing cold stress symptoms
• Calling for medical assistance and providing basic first aid
• Selecting proper clothing for cold, wet, and windy conditions
• Recognizing and coping with slippery roads and surfaces, windy conditions, and downed power lines
• Selecting proper equipment and PPE.
Cold-related safe work practices:
• Develop work plans to identify potential hazards and proper safety measures.
• Schedule cold weather jobs during the warmest part of the day.
• Assign extra workers for long, demanding jobs.
• Provide warm areas for break periods.
• Monitor workers who are at risk of cold stress.
• Monitor weather conditions during a winter storm, have reliable communication means, and stop work or evacuate when necessary.
• Acclimatize new workers, gradually increasing their workload and allowing more frequent breaks in warm areas.
Please use our Cold Weather PPE Toolbox Talk to discuss outdoor winter work safety tips. Contact Kelly Kramer, CECD, HEM, at 800.738.8395 to discuss how RETTEW can assist you with identifying and mitigating facility and site safety hazards.
Safety training and consulting are only some of RETTEW’s 600+ services. Our safety team works hand in hand with engineers, scientists, project managers, and other technical experts at places such as manufacturing facilities, drill pads, and commercial construction sites. We are well respected in many industries and known for ensuring workers and equipment remain safe, which keeps your projects on track and your bottom line growing.