Old man winter has officially showed himself here in the U.S. While not necessarily the earliest winter or snowfall, many will forget how dangerous Old Man winter can be. Cod stress according to the CDC is considered an workplace exposure potential and employers need to aware and concerned with the potential of an workplace injury due to cold stress.
The CDC’s link http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/coldstress/ does an excellent job of presenting the hazards and symptoms of cold stress. Please check it out.
- Cold Water Immersion
As an employer you need to be concerned with any employee you have working in cold weather environments. While you may not be required to provide cold weather clothing, you do have a duty to ensure your employees are wearing adequate clothing to work in cold weather.
The CDC recommends Employers should take the following steps to protect workers from cold stress:
- Schedule maintenance and repair jobs in cold areas for warmer months.
- Schedule cold jobs for the warmer part of the day.
- Reduce the physical demands of workers.
- Use relief workers or assign extra workers for long, demanding jobs.
- Provide warm liquids to workers.
- Provide warm areas for use during break periods.
- Monitor workers who are at risk of cold stress.
- Provide cold stress training that includes information about:
- Worker risk
- The importance of monitoring yourself and coworkers for symptoms
- Personal protective equipment
As an employer keep a close watch of your workers exposed to cold stress, schedule work accordingly to prevent an overexposure and your employees and you will have safe and productive work days. Forget to take care of your employees in cold weather and you risk a serious citation that could prove to be very costly. So keep your employees warm and safe and at the end of the day every go home healthy.