In the Midwest, we love and appreciate the beauty of winter, but it’s important to be prepared for the cold, wet and windy conditions. Being exposed to freezing temperatures for a long time can result in health problems such as trench foot, frostbite and hypothermia. Therefore, it’s important to take necessary precautions to stay safe and healthy during the winter season.
Here are some safety tips to help you stay safe this winter:
- Dress appropriately for the weather. Wear clothes meant for cold, wet and windy conditions. Dress in loose-fitting layers to adapt to changing temperatures. Wear a hat, socks, shoes, gloves and outerwear that will keep you dry.
- Work in pairs. It’s always better to work in pairs so that you and your co-worker can spot danger signs in each other.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of warm, sweet beverages (such as sugar water or sports drinks) but avoid caffeine (in coffee, tea, sodas or hot chocolate) and alcohol.
- Take breaks often. Take breaks frequently in a heated area to warm up. This will help you to avoid overexerting yourself and becoming too tired.
- Seek medical attention immediately if problems arise. If you or someone you know has symptoms of hypothermia, such as uncontrolled shivering, slurred speech, clumsiness, fatigue and confusion, seek medical attention right away.
- Prepare a winter survival kit. Use our handy checklist below to make your own winter vehicle kit:
- Candles and matches.
- Ice scraper.
- Jumper cables.
- Collapsible shovel.
- Small pocketknife or multi-purpose tool.
- Colored banner (bright colored bandana or small towel) to hang from the antenna.
- Paper and pencil.
- Cell phone adapter or battery pack.
- Flashlight and spare batteries.
- Plastic spoons.
- Snacks – Granola bars, protein bars, raisins, dried fruit, nuts, trail mix, canned soups, jerky, mini candy bars and hard candies.
- If space allows, pack a larger plastic tote with extra blankets, mittens, hats, scarves, boots and socks. The large tote can also house your survival kit and food items.
By implementing these cold weather safety tips and fostering a culture of safety, employers can help protect their employees from the risks associated with working in cold weather conditions. Remember that prevention and preparedness are key to ensuring a safe and productive work environment during the winter months. Stay safe and enjoy the winter season!
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