Could Be a Cold One
The long range prairie forecast from the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting cold weather and snow pretty early on this season. If you work outside or even if you spend a decent amount of time outdoors in your commute to work, it’s best to prepare for the season in advance.
Use Toolbox Meeting to Prepare Employees
In the case of construction work, it is worthwhile to use your toolbox meetings as a place to remind all employees of the risks and hazards associated with cold weather work. Remind them what type of equipment they will be expected to bring and what will be provided.
Checklist for cold weather work:
Thermal base layers
Warm gloves with shell and liner for finer work
Insulated jacket with hood
Access to warm beverages
Emergency weather alert
Emergency SOS system for isolated work
Vehicle with working heater
Thermos for warm beverages or soup
If you’re working outdoors everyday you’re going to want multiples of most of these items.
Worksite checklist for cold weather:
Evaluate tasks for exposure to weather
Employee training on cold weather
Employee training on frostbite and hypothermia
Properly stocked first aid kits
Emergency procedures are known
Proper cold weather maintenance of tools
Proper housekeeping on sites so dangerous debris isn’t buried under snow drifts
Entrance and exits kept clear of snow drifts and ice
Salt or sand on hand for ice patches
Wind barriers where applicable
All work is performed in pairs when outdoors for extended periods of time
Electric Heaters for warm up enclosure
While it is the employers responsibility to ensure the safety and proper conditions for employees, it never hurts to be sure everything has been taken care of and bring up any concerns you might have. REMEMBER: you have the right to refuse work you feel is unsafe.