Coming back to work after the holidays can be hard on some employees. Many workers tend to be less focused in the first weeks of the year as they struggle to pick up from where they left off before the holiday season.
This lack of focus can impact workplace safety, with many of us being a little less vigilant in watching out for safety hazards. With tough winter months on hand, however, it is even more important for everyone to pay closer attention to safety hazards in their workplace. Accidents and illnesses are not uncommon during these chilly months when small oversights can turn pavements and walkways dangerous and clothing (wardrobe) miscalculations can leave outdoor workers vulnerable to the extreme cold.
Here are 5 easy steps to get back into the safe zone in these winter months.
- Have your building’s heating system inspected thoroughly to make sure that everything is working safely. Remove all items that obstruct furnaces and vents, especially flammables such as paper and boxes. These are major fire hazards.
- Hire a contractor to remove the snow from your building walkways and outdoor areas. If you choose to have your own employees take care of these, always make sure that they use appropriate protective gear to avoid slips and falls.
- Identify areas that are prone to moisture and ice. Keep a ready supply of danger signs on hand, and train employees to always use signage to mark these hazard areas.
- Use de-icing products such as salt or chemical deicers to keep shoveled areas clear of ice. Although rock salt or sodium chloride works well for this purpose, calcium chloride also highly recommended because it is known to melt ice quicker.
- Protect your employees from cold stress and winter illnesses. Require all workers, especially those who spend time outdoors, to wear appropriate clothing that’ll protect them from the extreme cold and provide them with instructional materials on how to deal with extreme cold conditions.
Additional useful links for winter safety:
CDC & OSHA
Winter Safety training material available on this site