Left Out in the Cold | Winter Worker Safety

Winter is just around the corner. Colder temperatures and related weather issues bring added hazards and risks to workers who spend their time outdoors. Below are some ways for workers to stay healthy and safe on the job this winter season.

  • Dress in lightweight layers of clothing and add/remove clothing to maintain a comfortable temperature.
  • Loose clothes and scarves can get caught in machinery. Ensure your winter attire does not put you at risk around machines.

  • Keep extra clothes on hand and change if your clothes get wet.
  • Wear a hat to prevent body heat loss.
  • Protect your ears by covering them with a hat or wearing earmuffs.
  • Choose safety eyewear that will not fog in the weather conditions.
  • Wear the proper gloves for the task and the weather.
  • Select the correct socks and shoes for the weather conditions. Feet should remain dry and shoes should have anti-slip soles and good tread.
  • Be aware of slippery conditions on walkways, stairs, ladders, etc.
  • Learn about the hazards of cold stress, such as frostbite and hypothermia.
  • Learn the steps you need to take if you experience symptoms.
  • In cold weather, try to schedule your tasks during the warmest part of the day.
  • Take breaks as needed to warm up.
  • Stay hydrated with water and warm drinks.
  • Take extra precautions when driving. Slow down and pay attention to road conditions and other drivers. Ensure you keep emergency supplies in your car in case you become stranded.

Working outdoors in the winter can bring added hazards and risks to workers. Take precautions to ensure you stay safe on-the-job this winter. For more information on winter hazards, see the Winter Weather section of OSHA’s website.

Date Posted: 11-07-2016
Tags: osha cold stress, osha safety topics, osha workplace safety, winter safety,
Categories: OSHA Safety,