Time to Suit Up for Winter Weather
It’s a sad reality, but the last days of fall are upon us, meaning winter weather is on the horizon. But before the last leaf falls off the tree, it’s crucial that your property is ready for the winter to come. Whether your employees’ work involves being indoors, outdoors or in a vehicle, there are additional risks property owners must be prepared to ensure survival and safety.
Become familiar with winter storm warning signals so you can take appropriate action, and learn the dangers of winter ailments so you can avoid injury. Use these tips to refresh your knowledge on winter storm preparation.
Winter Weather Warnings
Keep an eye on ongoing weather alerts and familiarize yourself with what they mean, so you know when to be on your guard and what actions you may need to take:
- Winter storm watch: Be alert, a storm is likely
- Winter weather advisory: Experts expect winter weather conditions to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous, especially to motorists
- Frost/Freeze warning: Experts expect below freezing temperatures that may cause damage to plants, crops or fruit trees
- Winter storm warning: Take action, a storm is entering – or is already in – the area
- Blizzard warning: The combination of snow and strong winds will produce blinding snow, near zero visibility, deep drifts and life-threatening wind chill – seek refuge immediately
Gearing Up to Prevent Cold Injuries
Frostbite and hypothermia are serious conditions resulting from extreme cold that can be easily experienced by your maintenance workers and employees. To prevent these conditions, which could result in death or permanent damage, ensure your employees:
- Select proper clothing for cold, wet and windy conditions
- Layer clothing when possible, and be sure to include layers that repel moisture away from the skin
- Take frequent, short breaks in warm, dry shelters when possible
- Avoid over-exhausting yourself, as the body needs this energy to keep the muscles warm
- Plan to work in pairs when it’s cold to share the load and watch for warning signs of frostbite or hypothermia
- When you know you will be exposed to extreme cold, prepare yourself warm, sweet beverages to drink – avoid drinks containing caffeine or alcohol
- Prepare warm, high-calorie foods to consume if you know you will be outside for long periods of time
Keeping employees safe during every season should always be your number one priority. For other tips on staying safe check out our Safety E-Book.
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