It’s that time of year when we again, want to remind everybody about winter weather and the hazards it presents for both travel and work related activities. Occasionally, some of us have to deal with the problems of snow and ice. Listen to weather forecasts and allow extra travel time when these conditions are predicted. Hazardous road conditions demand that you drive both carefully and defensively.
Slips and falls are a major cold weather safety concern. Snow, ice and wet floors can make walking and working surfaces very slippery and create opportunities for accidents. Wear shoes or boots that provide good traction, and watch where you are going. In the morning, when showing up for work, watch for frozen areas or patches covered with light frost. Rooftop crew members must be extra careful while working at or close to the leading edge. Single ply roofing membranes are EXTREMELY slick when frost or snow is on them. Mobile equipment operators must pay extra attention. Ground conditions may give your tires very little traction, increasing the possibility of skidding out of control and causing property damage or personal injury.
Frostbite occurs when skin tissue begins to freeze. Initial symptoms of frostbite include uncomfortable sensations of coldness, tingling, stinging or aching feeling of the exposed area followed by numbness. Fingers, Ears, toes, cheeks, and noses are primarily affected. Frostbitten areas appear white and cold to the touch. You may prevent frostbite by wearing gloves, water resistant boots, beanies, ear muffs, and thick warm socks. Keep your clothing and feet dry.
Fog can create very unsafe conditions. Give yourself extra time to get to and from work. Drive with your lights on and at a safe speed. Do not follow to close to vehicles in front of you. While at work pay extra attention to vehicles and other equipment working around you. Equipment operators should have their lights on and honk before approaching blind corners or driving through low visibility areas.
Portable and stand alone heaters have a significant chance of starting a fire both at home and on the job. If you use or work around these devices, make sure they are operated safely. Keep adequate clearance between heaters and other objects, including walls. Propane powered heaters which create an open flame can be especially dangerous. Ensure fuel containers and fuel powered equipment are kept far away from all heaters. Follow ventilation recommendations carefully and store fuel properly.
No matter what time of the year it is, weather can have a big effect on your safety.
Pay attention to weather related hazards and act appropriately.
Safety First, Safety Last, Safety…Always!
Ron Kozloski/ Safety Director
Mark Dalton /Safety Engineer