Winter Safety For Outdoor Workers
- Date: Wednesday 6th December 2017
- PDF: Download
As the winter weather takes over, working conditions become more hazardous. With strong winds, freezing temperatures, snow, ice and lots of rain, these elements can cause additional hazards for anyone working outdoors.
Here are a few simple steps that you can take to ensure the health, safety and welfare of your employees:
- Train your employees to spot cold-related symptoms, such as drowsiness, cold stress and heavy shivering.
- Encourage your employees to work together in teams, so that they can monitor each other, and if need be, seek assistance in emergencies.
- Make sure that employees keep warm and insulated by wearing suitable clothing and PPE. Most importantly, ensure that feet, hands and the head are protected as this is where heat is lost the quickest.
- Control the working environment by shielding areas from winds and drafts, installing heaters and insulating equipment where possible.
- Ensure calorie intake is increased. Wearing heavier, more protective clothing means you lose more heat and require 10-15% more calories in return.
- In a cold environment, thirst is supressed and dehydration can occur, so ensure your employees drink plenty of fluids.
- Create warm break areas, where employees can take a break from the elements and warm up.
- Schedule outside work to limit how long employees are exposed to cold conditions. Rotate indoor and outdoor jobs where possible.
- Ensure you check the worksite for any new hazards that could have been introduced or caused by the bad weather.
For further guidance, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/temperature/outdoor.htm