Winter Brings Dangers for EHS Staff to Prepare For

The month of December is among us which for most people signals the start of the Winter Season.  Depending on where you live, winter may or may not be as big of an issue to contend with, though with the recent cold temperatures across the nation this may change.

With the winter season amongst us here are a few Winter Safety Tips to consider

Carbon Monoxide

During the winter months many of us like to go out and start our cars to warm up before leaving for our destination.  We know that if we park our cars in the garage that first we should open the garage door so that the fumes from our car do not fill up the room and cause a person to get sick.  What most people are not aware of is that having your car parked out in the driveway and having the car parked in snow can be just as harmful.  With the snow that is built up around your car, especially if that snow is covering your exhaust pipes, this can lead to toxic fumes building up in and around your car to harm you.

So remember that when you are starting your car, to clear the snow away from your car so that there is a clear space for the car fumes to come out of your exhaust pipes so that this does not happen to you.

Frostbite and Hypothermia

Even though it may be winter that does not stop some workers from working in the outdoor elements.  During the cold months of winter, it is important to remember to keep your body well clothed in layers and to cover up with hats and gloves.  Frostbite and Hypothermia are serious conditions and with the proper attire you can help protect yourself from greater risks when working out in the cold.

Here are a few areas to consider when working in the winter months:

  • Wear Layers: Keeping warm layers on will help keep in the warmth and protect you from the cold.
  • Cover your extremities by wearing warm hats and gloves: Many people forget that you loose the most body heat from your head.  Also you may feel that you can not perform your task by wearing gloves.  Just remember these are two areas that usually are forgotten about and are just as important as putting on sock and shoes.
  • Keep clothes dry: If you are working out in the wet snow make sure to take a moment to step in to a warm room to dry out your clothing or bring in an extra set of clothes to change into.  This will help prevent the cold wetness soaking into your clothes and against your skin.

Slips and Falls

No matter how well you keep the sidewalks clear of snow and ice, slips and falls are always higher risks during the winter months.  It is important to remember to keep all walkways outside clear of snow and ice.  When entering into a building from the outside, it is important to remember that the area by the door may be extra wet.  Remember to dry your shoes well on the mat by the door and to know that the area around may be slippery and to take proper caution when walking.

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