Winter months bring the holiday season, but they also bring weather conditions that are more dangerous than any other time of the year.
Working in cold conditions isn’t just uncomfortable, it can be dangerous. Frostbite, numbness, dehydration and hypothermia are real concerns for those working in outdoor weather.
If you’re working outdoors this winter, be aware of the dangers and stay safe. Here are some tips for staying safe and keeping others safe:
- Monitor weather conditions by knowing the latest weather updates. Individuals responsible for the safety and security of others should always be as prepared and informed as possible.
- Drink enough fluids, as, contrary to common perception, you dehydrate faster in cold weather conditions. Dehydration causes headaches, dizziness and fatigue. Ensuring that you are eating enough food during the day, especially fats and carbohydrates, is also important. Your body uses those nutrients as energy to stay warm. Watch for signs of dehydration in others that may not be expected during cold weather conditions.
- If you’re on the road, make sure to take a cold weather safety kit. A cold weather kit should include emergency blankets, candles, and matches. A candle burning in a vehicle could provide enough warmth to ward off hypothermia for a period of time. These items can help you in a time of need, but are also helpful when assisting other motorists.
- 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. Scarves can also help to warm your neck and warm the air you’re breathing.
- Always clear all walkways and entrance steps to buildings of ice and snow. Use anti-slip materials like sand or salt to make walkways and parking lots less slippery.
- Store shovels and gloves in areas known to all personnel. Follow proper procedures in safe lifting and shoveling.