As beautiful as winter may be, it comes with some not so pretty, dangerous outcomes. For those that work outdoors, working safely in winter weather is crucial, and not being safe on the job could lead to some serious injuries. So, we’ve put together some winter safety tips for work, that way you can maximize productivity while keeping yourself safe!
winter Safety Tips for Work
1. Work Slowly
If you’re the type of person who likes to work quickly, be careful! Cold weather puts more strain on the heart and muscles, so take your time when working. Although you may not get as much work done as you do during the warmer months, your safety should be the top priority.
Hopefully this one is obvious, but the more layers you wear when working outside, the better. In fact, while it may seem favorable to wear one big, heavy jacket instead of putting on layers of clothing, the latter option will actually provide your body with better insulation. When choosing layers of clothing, be sure to go with loose-fitting items so your body is still able to move about freely. Clothing that is too tight can reduce blood circulation and restrict body movement.
3. Hand Check
While gloves are often more convenient than mittens, they’re actually the less safe option. Mittens retain body heat better than gloves because your fingers are touching inside of them. Additionally, think twice before walking around with your hands in your pockets. With both hands in the pockets of a coat, you’re more likely to fall or lose your balance if you slip while walking on ice or snow. Consider opting for hand warmers instead of your pockets!
4. Warm Up Before Work
If your job requires manual labor in cold weather, it’s essential to warm up your body before starting to work. Whether it’s doing some stretching exercises, jogging in place, or taking a short walk, a quick warm up will reduce your risk of injuring yourself on the job. Plus, you’ll probably work more efficiently! However, your body isn’t the only thing you should warm up before work. It’s also a good idea to warm up your vehicle or truck before driving to work or delivering goods.
5. Understand the Signs of Cold Stress
While we usually don’t think about them too much, cold-related illnesses, like hypothermia and frostbite, are very real and very dangerous. Both can have long-lasting effects, too. In order to be safe working in winter weather, make sure you know the signs of these two conditions:
- Symptoms of hypothermia include:
- Shivering or shaking
- Lack of coordination
- Slurred speech
- Confusion or disorientation
- Symptoms of frostbite include:
- Cold, numb, or tingling skin
- Reduced blood flow to hands and feet
- Body aches
- Blue, pale, or waxy skin
If you or a coworker suspects either of these conditions, it’s crucial to get help right away. The longer you wait to seek medical care, the worse the condition can become.
With winter weather on the horizon, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with these winter safety tips for work as soon as possible!