These tips can work for any industry and any type of job, or even off of the job. Winter is here in some areas of the US, so it’s time to dig in and stay safe, warm, and productive.
Layer up. OSHA actually offers guidelines on layering clothing for workers. It is really practical advice that is worth reminding personnel of. If you anticipate you could get wet while at work from a rain, snow, or emergency event, bring an extra set of clean and dry clothing. Hypothermia just needs the magic mix of wetness and slightly low temperatures, even in the 60s (fahrenheit)!
Prepare your vehicle. If you usually switch to winter tires, make that appointment or set a calendar reminder to DIY. Tire pressure changes with the temperature, so keep an eye on your tire inflation through your vehicle’s Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) if so equipped, or get outside and do it the old-fashioned way with a gauge. Make sure you’ve got some extra clothing, a window scraper, and other winter survival and safety gear tailored to your climate.
Walk like a penguin. It’s not a dance craze, but it is a great way to maneuver across slippery surfaces. Many company’s in cold climates note an increase in slip, trip, and fall injuries during the winter months.
Share responsibility. If you’re the first one to the office and notice that the sidewalk has not been cleared of fresh snow, shovel it! If a fresh sheet of ice has appeared after a sleet event, throw down some salt or sand! Here in Minneapolis, many companies set a bucket of salt, sand, or other ice-melt substance and a shovel at the entrance to the office. That way, anyone can make a correction at any time to help prevent slips, trips, and falls of employees and visitors.
Slow down. Kids hike to sledding hills after school and people ride bikes year-round – activity doesn’t stop in the winter, but it does get a little more challenging. Whatever mode you use to commute or travel, allow yourself extra time in the winter season to anticipate sudden blizzards and ice-packed roads. Allow ample time to stop your vehicle to ensure you don’t hit the car, bike, or person ahead of you.
For more information on winter safety and the workplace, visit OSHA’s landing page on winter safety .