As November creeps in, and the cold weather begins to roll over the Pacific Northwest, workers are at a greater risk of cold related hazards. Exposure to the cold can cause injury or serious illness such as frostbite or hypothermia. The likelihood of injury or illness depends on several factors such as physical activity, clothing, wind, humidity, working conditions, and a person’s age and state of health. However, it is always smart to be prepared for the worst. Below are a list of tips to stay safe in the upcoming winter months:
- Learn the signs and symptoms of cold-induced illnesses/injuries and what to do in the event of an emergency.
- Select proper clothing for cold, wet, and windy conditions. Layer clothing to adjust to changing environmental temperatures. Wear a hat, gloves, and underwear that will keep water away from the skin (polypropylene).
- Avoid overheating. Wet clothing is 20 times less warm than dry clothing.
- Check your clothing for entanglement hazards such as scarves, loose sleeves, and dangling drawstrings. Look for anything that could get caught in rotating machinery.
- Slow down when walking across slippery surfaces and be especially careful on ladders, platforms, and stairways. Your shoes should have adequate tread to prevent slips and falls on wet or icy surfaces.
- Take frequent short breaks in warm dry shelters to allow the body to warm up.
- Avoid exhaustion or fatigue. The body consumes energy to keep itself warm.
- Use the buddy system (working in pairs).
- Eat warm, high-calorie foods like hot pasta dishes. Always start the day with a hearty breakfast.
As always, The Integrated Group is here to help. Feel free to contact us for more information or consultation on preparing for the winter months at 425-822-8500 or firstname.lastname@example.org