Cold Weather Safety in the Workplace
‘Tis the season to be cautious. While these days are merrier with colorful decors lining the streets and Christmas tunes wafting in the air, conditions on the job are dangerous now more than any time of the year. This is true for places where Christmas brings with it the cold of winter.
With all the snow and ice from the heavens, winter also delivers wet and slippery grounds. That is why employees working outdoors are at a big risk of slipping and falling on the job.
Ice and Snow Accumulation
Like any unsafe condition on the job, snow and ice accumulation can be eliminated by following some basic safety guidelines:
- Wear shoes or boots with non-slip or non-skid soles.
- Monitor weather conditions by knowing the latest weather updates.
- Don’t allow snow or ice to accumulate in work areas. Clear them off immediately, especially if they run off on scaffolds and roofs.
- Always clear off ice and snow from all walkways and entrance steps to buildings.
- 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.
- Always wear a hard hat when going outdoors. This should protect you from falling objects, as well as impacts caused by slips on slippery surfaces.
- Inspect overhead areas to make sure that snow and ice do not accumulate on them.
- Before using ladders, ensure that they are completely free of ice, snow and other materials that may cause slips or falls.
- To keep ladders and scaffolds well-maintained and protected from snow and ice, cover them before the end of the shift.
- Before using equipment and tools used for ice, inspect them well first. Make sure they are not covered with ice or they have the potential to hurt you or others when dropped.
- Wear proper fall protection when clearing slippery materials of high places. For double protection, consider installing safety rails on such areas.
- Follow proper procedures in safe lifting and shoveling.
Make sure areas that may have unseen ice or snow are well-lighted and equipped with directional markings.
Be safe outdoors by wearing proper PPE and getting rid of all snow and ice where they’re not welcome!
Be a SAFETY Leader!