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Winter Workplace Hazards and How to Avoid Them

November 7, 2015

As the winter months approach, don’t overlook winter workplace hazards that could put you at risk.

Hazardous road conditions are one of the biggest dangers that any worker will face. Black ice, snow, slush, and more can make the roads slick. Not only are these problems that you could face every time you have to drive, conditions can change in an instant.

Pay attention to the weather forecast and give yourself extra time if you know that the conditions are poor. Watch your speed and be cautious, anticipating icy spots that you may not be able to see. Be aware of other drivers around you.

You’ll also want to make sure that your vehicle is winterized. Check your antifreeze, your windshield wiper fluid, your tires, and your brakes. Stock your vehicle with emergency supplies such as road flares, a blanket, a set of jumper cables, a shovel, and a handy flashlight. You’ll be prepared if you break down or have an accident.

Avoid Nasty Falls

Ice and snow make for slippery surfaces, increasing the risk of a harmful fall. Protect yourself to the best of your ability. You can begin with wearing the proper shoes or boots for the conditions, making sure you have a good tread. You also need to watch where you are going and take your time. If possible, walk around any icy patches. If you can’t avoid them, walk slowly. Rushing won’t do you any good if you have to be rushed to the emergency room.

Beware of Dangerous Temperatures

Bitter cold is one of the most serious dangers you will have to face when you are working in the winter. If you know that you are going to have to face the elements, you need to dress appropriately to protect yourself from hypothermia or frostbite. Wear several layers of clothing and choose fabric that won’t hold moisture as it insulates your body. Always cover your head, wear your gloves, and invest in a good pair of boots. Keep extra clothing, boots, hats, and gloves in your vehicle. If anything gets wet, you need to change in order to keep yourself dry and warm. If you wear the right clothing, you’ll keep yourself safe when the temperature drops.

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