During the winter season, the workers working outside are more prone to cold attacks. Cold is an occupational health hazard and even if one dresses properly to get rid of cold still the worker might find it difficult to work. Lives and businesses get badly affected during the winter fall. It becomes difficult for the small businessmen to reopen after getting majorly affected by the winter. Small or medium businesses gets badly affected by the disasters because they have tighter budgets and if they again reopens their business recovering or even coming to the break-even point becomes difficult. Winter storms can be disastrous and pricey if you aren’t prepared for it. Of course, working outside depends from company to company and job to job. Hence, their prevention also varies depending upon the risk they will be exposed to. Some of the simple ways of working protection during the winter are as follows:
- Discuss your plans before the crisis occurs in Winter with your Workers
Before every winter you should prepare a document for protection and steps to be followed during the chilly winter crisis and discuss them with your workers. Being the owner of a company protection of my employees is my job. They should be fed with enough knowledge and should also be trained so that their mind works promptly during an emergency or crisis. Talk to them regarding the problems that may occur or have occurred nearby or last year with your workers in that area, its effect on the work and lives of the workers. Make sure ice is removed from the place of work every day as it might lead to slipping and hence, injuries. Proper communication during an emergency is vital. The workers should have a presence of mind and should be able to understand things at once. If there is a communication gap then it will become difficult for others to take necessary measures against the cold. Likewise, practicing emergency scenarios will help you and your workers prepare better. Throw them into such situations of crisis to test them what safety knowledge they have acquired.
- Look Around for a Probable Hazard
It is very important to look around for the probable chances of accidents in a factory during the winter. It is wise enough to note down the places and categorize them according to their level of hazard. After making the report, they should be immediately repaired to avoid the risk involved.
- Walk-through of the facility or job site looking for damage in the pipe line or electrical wires. Check if the equipment and machinery need to change or servicing is required because of the extreme cold climate. Involvement of your employees during such work will make them aware of the risks involved.
- Protection of the building from the cold is very important. Inspect the doors, windows, roofs, and walls closely. Once winter falls it becomes difficult for the owners to get a serviceman to work. If the doors, windows, roofs and walls are not fixed then staying indoors will become very difficult. Also, clear your surroundings, debris clogging the drains and stagnant water.
- Do not forget to buy tools used to clear the path or used for other purposes during winter.
- Store as much food as possible because every time it is not possible to go out and buy food for the and also there is a scarcity of food during this time of the year.
- Jot down the plans and include all the changes made from the present condition, any new methods or technology to be followed can also be mentioned. Write them on a board or pin them on a soft board so that the employees never forget them. No matter what changes you are making, always discuss them with your employees.
- Use of Proper Protective Clothes and Gears
Proper warm clothing is required to fight the cold and work without stopping. One should wear sweaters, jackets, caps, gloves before going out. They should be of good quality and should serve the purpose. Jackets with hoodies are widely preferred and the best quality gloves are suggested to wear. There are many companies that produce winter gloves for commercial use. They have a rugged outer surface and soft inner lining. They are generally very comfortable and are also the best winter work gloves.
- Prevent Diseases
All companies should take proper steps to save their employees from diseases. Steps should also be taken to prevent fatigue. To keep up the momentum of work as well as to prevent dehydration the companies should provide hot water, soups and stews to their workers. If we do not take care of them then they will also not bother working for the company. The workers can have hypothermia which is the disease when the body fails to produce heat on its own. In this case, the body shivers and blue tints on the skin may occur. Frostbite is another deadly thing that happens to the workers and many die due to it. The body gets numb and skin becomes waxy. The person with such a condition should immediately be taken indoors and make his body warm by using a heater, lighting up the fireplace and pouring warm water. Never massage the frostbitten area as it may further damage it. The companies should attach an emergency medical kit with the winter protection clothes so that a temporary aid can be given to the worker. All the workers should be trained and ordered to look after one another so that one gets sick another person can immediately come to his rescue, hence, this way lives can be saved.
- Poor Visibility is a Big Risk
During the winter, snow makes the visibility really poor. It threatens the life of many and if proper protection and measures are not taken then it can be life-risking. It is very important to keep the floors clean and the hazardous area should be marked properly enough to get highlighted. The most affected people are the drivers. During winter the roads should be clear from snow else the cars and other vehicles might topple. Due to poor visibility, one vehicle might collide with another so to avoid it reflective paints or tapes should be used in vehicles. Even people walking or working by road should use reflective tapes.