Today's Safety Sunday tip is: Look Cool by Staying Warm
Everyone can help prevent cold weather-related stress in the workplace. An informed and prepared employee can be better equipped to handle cold stress by regularly checking weather and temperature reports and utilizing personal protective equipment (PPE) like thermal gloves, waterproof thermal coats, and earmuffs.
When exposed to outdoor weather, air temperature and wind speed can drastically affect how cold a worker may feel. These factors together are referred to as "wind chill." Using the NWS Wind Chill Calculator, employers can input current air temperature and wind speed to determine their environment's wind chill temperature.
Supervisors should make sure their employees are adequately hydrated when exposed to cold stress, as it is easy to become dehydrated in cold conditions. In its Cold Stress Guide, OSHA recommends employers implement a buddy system so that workers can monitor each other for signs of cold stress. Managers or supervisors should also schedule heavy work during the warmer part of a day, give employees frequent breaks in warm areas, and help build up cold-weather tolerance in new hires by gradually increasing their exposure to cold weather.