Staying warm and preventing falls
By Ashleigh Petersen
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Staying warm and preventing falls

Take 5 for Safety is a monthly article designed to give equipment and event rental stores the information they need to conduct a five-minute safety meeting on a particular topic. Below are talking points for this month’s meeting. The Take 5 for Safety signup sheet can be downloaded below. This can be used to take attendance during the meeting.

Dressing properly for the cold

Dressing properly is extremely important to preventing cold stress. When cold environments or temperatures cannot be avoided, the following would help protect workers from cold stress:

  • Wear at least three layers of loose-fitting clothing. Layering provides better insulation.
  • An inner layer of wool, silk or synthetic (polypropylene) can keep moisture away from the body. Thermal wear, wool, silk or polypropylene inner layers of clothing hold more body heat than cotton.
  • A middle layer of wool or synthetic provides insulation even when wet.
  • An outer wind and rain protection layer allows some ventilation to prevent overheating.
  • Do not wear tight clothing that reduces blood circulation. Warm blood needs to be circulated to the extremities. Use an insulated coat/jacket that is water resistant, if necessary.
  • Use a knit mask to cover your face and mouth, if needed.
  • Wear a hat that will cover your ears as well. A hat will help keep your whole body warmer.
  • Use insulated gloves, water resistant if necessary.
  • Wear insulated and waterproof boots.

Safety tips for workers

  • Review the symptoms of cold stress.
  • Monitor your physical condition and that of your coworkers.
  • Dress appropriately.
  • Stay dry in the cold because moisture or dampness, for example from sweating, can increase the rate of heat loss from the body.
  • Keep extra clothing, including underwear, handy in case you get wet and need to change.
  • Drink warm sweetened fluids — no alcohol.
  • Use proper engineering controls, safe work practices and personal protective equipment (PPE) provided by your employer.

Preventing falls on snow and ice

Walking surfaces should be cleared of snow and ice, and covered in deicer, as quickly as possible. The following precautions also will help reduce the likelihood of injuries:

  • Wear proper footwear when walking on snow or ice because it is especially treacherous. A pair of insulated and water-resistant boots with good rubber treads is a must for walking during or after a winter storm. Keeping a pair of rubber over-shoes with good treads which fit over your street shoes is a good idea during the winter months.
  • Take short steps and walk at a slower pace so you can react quickly to a change in traction when walking on an icy or snow-covered walkway.

Source: osha.gov/winter-weather

Ashleigh Petersen

Ashleigh PetersenAshleigh Petersen

Ashleigh Petersen is the associate editor for Rental Management. She writes news and feature articles, plus coordinates the monthly Safety Issue and several sections in the magazine. Ashleigh loves spending time with her husband and young son, baking, gardening and listening to true crime and comedy podcasts.

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