Winter is here and that means cold conditions on the worksite. With lower temperatures comes decreased visibility, slippery surfaces and worrying physical effects to workers themselves. So your team needs to be alert to hazards, and the necessary practices needed to avoid them. Here are some ways everyone can stay safe and warm this winter.
Being cold is unpleasant for anyone. But for those working outside, being cold can mean decreased fine motor skills, breathing problems, muscle cramps, heart issues, lowered immunity, dehydration and even mental health struggles.
So to keep body temps up, workers need to dress appropriately. That means layering up with wool, polyester fleece and polyproplene. (Avoid cotton as it absorbs moisture, keeping you cold.) As well as layering, workers should cover all other bases. Head, hands and feet. Perhaps that’s wearing a beanie, doubling up on socks and wearing warm and waterproof gloves. (Depending on the job at hand, gloves may or may not be appropriate.)
What workers wear can also contribute to their safety on the worksite. As surfaces can become slippery on icy mornings, ensure everyone is wearing shoes with good traction. And to fight the fog, ensure everyone is wearing their high vis at all times.
In cold conditions, workers will burn more energy to stay warm. So getting enough calories in is vital to staying warm.
It’s recommended that outdoor workers have smaller, more regular meals where possible. They should also aim for 50% of their intake to be carbohydrates, with fat taking up another large chunk. So bread, cheese, meat, nuts and dried fruit are all great choices.
To fight dehydration, workers should also chug down lots of liquids including water, juice and milk. As it contributes to dehydration, caffeine should be avoided. (That’s a hard ask, we know.)
If your team is working, they’re likely moving. But in the cold, it’s good to move every part of the body. This will help generate heat, stay warm and avoid cramping. Perhaps some team stretching sessions can be added to the work schedule.
Take warm breaks
Regular, short warm breaks help keep workers’ bodies at a safe temperature. But where are you going to find warmth onsite? In an Altec cabin. Ten minutes with the heater cranked, and you can send your team back up in the bucket.
At the end of the day, your team is in it together. So keep everyone informed on the weather predictions and remind them to keep an eye out for each other. Workers are tough and may fight through the cold even when they’re struggling.
We all want those warm breaks to be warm. So why not consider an Altec with a comfortable cabin? Browse our range here.