Keep Your Outdoor Employees Safe This Winter

02/24/2021

Managers

Winter brings freezing temperatures, snow, and ice. These can create seriously dangerous conditions for employees. In fact, for industries like construction, oil and gas, and others that are largely outdoors, it’s the season that sees an uptick in injuries and illnesses. To avoid this, take extra measures to ensure your people are safe when working outside. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

Tip #1: Promote safe driving.

During winter, driving can be particularly precarious. To keep employees safe, have company vehicles inspected regularly, as well as serviced and maintained. This includes checking everything from the electric system to the brakes and tires.

If your employees are regularly on the road during icy, cold months, make sure they have an emergency kit with them, as well. It should include items such as a flashlight, shovel, tow chain, and ice scraper.

Tip #2: Protect against cold stress.

Continual exposure to the cold without proper protection can result in a drop in the body’s temperature. Over time, this can lead to anything from frostbite to hypothermia.

To protect your employees from these dangerous conditions, make sure they know to cover exposed skin with several layers. They should also be wearing a hat, gloves, a face covering, wool socks, and other appropriate winter gear.

In addition, encourage them to take regular breaks from the cold. This will help to raise their body temperature and prevent cold stress from setting in. During breaks, they should drink a warm beverage and also remove and replace any wet or damp clothing.

Tip #3: Prevent slips and falls.

Employees can slip and fall any time of the year. However, it’s more likely to happen in winter when there’s snow and ice on the ground. To avoid any accidents, employees should wear boots with a heavy tread that are made for walking on ice or in the snow. Also, encourage them to be cautious, looking out for black ice or other potential dangers.

Tip #4: Train and communicate.

Make sure you’re communicating these safety measures to your outdoor employees. For instance, talk to them about what to look for and how to avoid issues like cold stress. Also, explain steps to take if they or a co-worker are showing signs of frostbite or hypothermia. The more you inform and train your people, the better they’ll be able to protect themselves when working outdoors.

Do you need help hiring for your outdoor team?

Turn to Adroit Employment Resources. We’re one of Bozeman, MT’s leading staffing agencies thanks to our extensive expertise and range of diverse services. Whatever industry you work in, we can provide the temporary, temp-to-hire, and full-time people you need, where and when you need them. Contact us today to learn more.