Winter Hazards – Are You Ready?

Cooler temperatures bring along unique hazards, as well as those we see regularly. Slip-and-fall injuries rise dramatically, falls from elevations such as ice-glazed steps can see workers’ compensation costs skyrocket with one bad storm. Snow removal from roofs or iced-over vents is certainly a non-routine activity.

Are you preparing your facility and workers (and management) for the different hazards associated with the colder weather? Have you planned ahead well?

A report in OH&S advises that employers should have the following in place for colder climes:

  • Awareness;
  • Diversity;
  • Consider your workforce and what you produce;
  • Timing for cold weather activities;
  • Budget;
  • Emergency backup power and fire protection;
  • Communication;
  • Appreciation;
  • Documentation; and
  • Your COOP Plan.

The reports adds that in a catastrophic situation you may not be able to operate. You decide well in advance how you best protect your employees and keep the mission of the company moving forward and manage the media, too!

In addition to cold stress, OSHA lists other winter weather-related hazards that workers may be exposed to when performing tasks such as driving in the snow, removing snow from rooftops, and working near downed or damaged power lines.