02 Jul TIPS FOR STAYING SAFE WHEN THE TEMPERATURE DROPS
A strong safety culture extends to all seasons, especially during winter when cold stress is common among outdoor workers. Working in cold conditions isn’t just uncomfortable, during this time of year, numbness, dehydration, and hypothermia are real concerns from employees who have to work in outdoor conditions. If you or your employees are working outdoors this winter, be aware of the dangers and avoid them. We looking at 6 tips to staying safe outdoors during the cold this winter.
- STAY WELL NOURISHED BY EATING AND DRINKING ENOUGH
Make sure to drink enough fluids, as you dehydrate faster in cold weather conditions. Dehydration causes headaches, dizziness, and fatigue, and it’s important to stay alert outdoors. Eating enough food during the day, especially fats and carbohydrates, is also important. Your body uses those nutrients as energy to stay warm in cold temperatures.
- STAY WELL RESTED
Working outdoors can be challenging, and increases risks to your safety. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep to stay alert on the job when conditions are more dangerous.
- PLAN BREAKS FROM THE COLD
Just like you need to take breaks from your work throughout the day, your body needs to take breaks from the cold. Plan warm-up times throughout your day to avoid numbness and shivers.
- STAY DRY
Damp clothing can quickly drop your body temperature. It’s more important than ever to stay dry in the cold. Wear a moisture-wicking base layer to draw away sweat as you work. Wear waterproof gear as an outer shell to prevent your under layers from getting wet. Remove any wet clothing immediately.
- DRESS FOR THE CONDITIONS
Dressing in layers is key, as it not only keeps you warm but allows you to adjust to changing temperatures. Proper gloves, socks, and footwear are essential. Choose headwear that keeps your head and ears warm. Balaclavas can also help to warm your neck and warm the air you’re breathing.
- AVOID SICK PEOPLE
This one sounds obvious, but actually might be the hardest to accomplish as some people may show signs of sickness and some not. Depending on your company’s policies and culture, some employees may feel like they have to come to work, even when sick. When feeling sick, it’s always best to stay home to allow yourself to get better and avoid getting others sick.
Remember, the most effective prevention techniques are adopting an attitude that safety is an area of responsibility for everyone in the organisation. Companies must initiate and reinforce safety protocols and clearly spell out safety responsibilities and expectations.
Including your staff in all aspects of your safety plan – from hazard identification to problem solving – not only will encourage a strong safety culture within your organization, but it also will allow for an open dialogue that leads to continuous improvement.