In the Pacific Northwest, our winter climate is mild compared to other parts of the country. However, there are still opportunities for additional weather related hazards in the workplace. Winter storms and unexpected blizzards can bring extreme cold, freezing rain, snow, ice, and high winds. Due to these frigid conditions, there are a higher risk of car accidents, hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning, and heart attacks from overexertion. Here a few tips to minimize winter workplace hazards:
- Facilities should be kept clear of ice and snow
- Be careful of slippery surfaces inside buildings
- Wear slip-resistant footwear
- Do not “over-dress” for working in outside conditions
- Keep chains or snow tires on hand when driving in icy conditions
In addition, it is important to keep your personal vehicle, or service vehicle prepared for winter conditions. Make sure to keep the following in your car/truck at all times: Cell Phone charger, Ice Scraper, Tire Chains, Emergency Flares, Fire Extinguisher, 1st Aid Kit, Shovel, Jumper Cables, Flash Light with extra batteries, Garbage Bag, and extra water.
A little planning can go a long way to having a happy and safe winter season.