Cold Weather Safety is many times overlooked. When the long, warm, and beautiful days of spring and summer are over, winter takes over. Many states experience snowy weather while other states experience extremely cold, below freezing temperatures. For people working outdoors, especially construction workers, cold weather conditions can prove to be extremely risky.
The Occupational Heath and Safety Administration (OSHA) offers various resources for construction professionals relating to cold weather safety. Work site leaders must plan ahead and develop action plans to address weather changes. OSHA suggests individual workers take responsibility and adhere to certain precautions during winter months. Each year, the agency issues guidelines such as those included below to workers regarding cold weather safety. This information can also be accessed from the agency’s website http://ww.osha.gov.
Frostbite, a severe condition involving cold weather safety, occurs when skin actually freezes. Usually, it affects the extremities such as the nose, ears, fingers and toes. When attempting to take care of someone with frostbite, OSHA provides several suggestions:
OSHA offers various educational resources and materials online that address cold weather safety. In addition, www.webmd.com provides health information on conditions significant to cold weather as well as related treatment suggestions.