January Alert

 

Regardless what it might feel like, the calendar shows that winter is here. Working in wintery conditions presents new challenges to workers, especially those that have to work outside.  Just look at some factors that need to be considered when selecting proper work attire:

  • An outside worker should avoid wearing bulky clothing that can hamper movement. Instead wear layers of clothing. Wear a thin layer close to your body to help retain heat and an outer jacket to handle the wind and rain.
  • Scarfs can be wonderful, but what if you work around machinery? Would you want something hanging around your neck?
  • When your body gets cold, you spend most of your energy warming your core area. The blood flow to your extremities is slowed making your hands and feet very vulnerable to winter conditions.
    • Outside workers need to protect their hands from the cold, but they cannot ignore other dangers. Wearing gloves around moving parts and machines increases the chances of entanglement.
    • Immersion foot syndrome (Trench Foot) occurs when feet are exposed to prolonged periods of damp and cooler conditions (below 60 degrees F) resulting in blisters and dead tissue. Bring an extra pair of socks to change in to when needed.
  • Selecting proper foot wear is important. Choose shoes or boots that are slip resistant.  Slips, trips and falls increase in the wintery conditions. Shoes or boots that are waterproof also add a layer of protection.

Working outdoors in the winter will have challenges. Luckily these challenges can be easily negated with proper planning and education. Attached is a training tip sheet to help start the conversation about working outdoors in the winter.