Colder weather in the winter can negatively impact employee safety, both inside and outside of the workplace. Falling temperatures increase the risk of conditions like hypothermia, while ice and snow create slip-and-fall hazards or driving challenges.
As an employer, ensuring the safety of your workforce is a must. Here are a few precautions that you can take to help safeguard your team this season.
Address Ice and Snow to Prevent Slips and Falls
Addressing ice and snow around your workplace is critical to ensure employee safety. Make sure parking lots and sidewalks are properly shoveled, salted, de-iced, or otherwise treated to help reduce slickness. You can also hire snow removal companies for larger parking lots after heavier snowfall.
In the building, have mats in front of doorways to help collect water, ice, and snow on shoes. Have spots to drop off umbrellas near the door to prevent drips from accumulating in the entrance. Place signs in areas that are likely wet to warn employees about potential puddles or slip hazards. If puddles occur, have them mopped up quickly.
Offer Cold Weather Training
Cold weather training can help managers and employees learn about the risks of falling temperatures. As a result, it’s critical to offer if any part of your workforce works outdoors or in a part of the building without sufficient heating capabilities.
Make everyone aware of the signs of cold weather-related conditions, such as frostbite and hypothermia. That allows employees and managers to be mindful of potentially dangerous changes in their own bodies, as well as watch out for others who may not notice they’re developing symptoms. Additionally, have suitable first aid options available for cold weather conditions, as well as warm breakrooms or other areas where employees can warm back up.
Make Breaks Mandatory
Making breaks mandatory during the winter is beneficial. While signs of dehydration and overheating are often more apparent to employees when the temperature is hot, they may overlook them when it’s cold outside or in the building.
Breaks are opportunities to send them to temperature-controlled areas to relax and also let them spend some time rehydrating. As a result, they may be less prone to injuries or illnesses, keeping them safer.
Alter Procedures to Address Weather Hazards
Updating specific workplace procedures to address weather hazards is essential for employees working outside. Slick conditions make driving equipment or carrying heavy items riskier, so it’s wise to adjust the standard way of accomplishing related tasks to ensure safety.
For example, de-ice forklift paths and clearly mark them, giving employees safer roads to follow. Reduce single-person lifting limits if possible, opting for equipment-based approaches like using hand trucks or dollies instead.
In many cases, simple adjustments to procedures allow employers to reduce the overall risk. As a result, they’re worth considering during the winter weather season.
Contact Us Today!
Ultimately, all of the options above are easy to implement and effective. If you need to add safety-conscious employees to your team this winter, GoSource wants to hear from you. Contact us today.