As we transition from warm weather to the colder temperatures of autumn and winter, there are additional cold weather safety issues to consider. While the cold can be a welcome relief from the heat of summer, it brings with it other dangers. When you work a trades job, it’s crucial that you are aware of how to stay safe and warm, since you’re exposed to the elements. Here are five cold weather safety tips to help you stay safe.
#1. Watch For Slick Surfaces
Many mornings are frosty this time of year, which can pose a cold weather safety issue. Just a very light coating of frost on plywood, metal or concrete surfaces makes an extremely slippery and dangerous surface. You must be extra careful the first few hours on a job site, because of the extra danger from slips and falls.
As the weather gets colder and it snows, this becomes an even more prominent problem throughout the day. To avoid injury and accidents, you must be very aware of your surroundings.
#2. Use Layers
Remember to dress in layers so that you can stay warm in the early morning and so that you are able to shed layers in order to stay cool as the day warms up. You don’t want to show up to work either bundled up or not bundled enough.
If you dress warmly without layers, this can cause you to overheat as you work. This is dangerous because then your body isn’t working to keep you warm – it’s working to cool you down through sweating. Sweat dampens your clothes, which will cause them to pull heat away from your body. This means that sweat can make your body temperature plummet, which forces your body to work harder to find a good temperature. This puts you at risk of illness or injury and is a significant winter safety issue.
If you don’t dress warmly enough with the idea that it will be fine because work will warm you up, this can also be dangerous, because you’re showing up to work cold. Your body can’t move as easily if you’re cold, and you could put yourself at risk for sickness and injury. You can’t be shivering while you’re working; you could drop something or make a mistake to hurt yourself or someone else.
This is why it’s important to use layers in the cold months – so that you can be warm when you get to work, but don’t have to worry about overheating as the day goes by, since you can simply take any layers you no longer need off.
#3. Stay Hydrated
Stay hydrated! Many people forget that you are losing moisture with each breath and exertion increases the rate of fluid loss in the body. Drinking plenty of water helps you to stay warm when it is cold, cool when it is hot and energized when you are exerting. Staying hydrated is especially important in the colder months because your body needs to work harder in order to stay warm. This means that it’s easier to get dehydrated, so you’ll likely need to drink more water than you normally do.
Though you may be tempted to reach for a hot cup or coffee or tea, these are a mixed bag. On the one hand, a warm drink increases your body’s temperature, which can be good for if you work out in the cold. But on the other hand, drinks like coffee and tea that have caffeine in them can actually cause your body to get dehydrated faster. This is because caffeine makes you have to pee more often, which means you have to drink more in order to stay hydrated.
#4. Don’t Forget Your Fingers And Toes!
Fingers and toes need your attention too. If not properly prepared for cooler temperatures, your fingers and toes can feel the effects of the cold quickly. In cold weather, any exposed skin is prone to frostbite, so they must be properly covered to stay protected. As your digits get cold, you lose coordination, and it is much easier to have an accident. Good boots are a winter safety must, because they will both hold up to the demands of the job and keep your toes warm.
In addition to this, you need gloves in order to protect your hands from cold metal. If you touch cold metal with your bare hands, this can cause your skin to freeze, leading to injury. In order to safely work, you’ll need gloves, so that you don’t have to worry about your skin sticking to surfaces.
Boots, warm socks, and gloves are very important. Keep extras in your backpack in case you either lose them, they get wet and you need to replace them, or if you need to layer up some more.
#5. Cover Your Head
Much of your body heat can be lost through your head. Keep it warm with a hat or a hard hat liner. Your ears are prone to frostbite too, so wearing a hat will protect them from the cold. You don’t want to be all layered up and still cold and at risk for frostbite because your head is left uncovered. Don’t neglect your head in your cold weather safety measures!
Cold Weather Safety Resources
Do you need more tips on how to stay warm in these cooler months? Here at All Trades Staffing Services LLC, we care about your safety and want to help you stay strong and healthy at work all year round. If you have any questions about cold weather safety at work or are looking for a temp job, please feel free to contact us today! Stay safe!
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