Take the Chill Out of Outdoor Work


Our friends in other parts of the country might scoff at what passes for cold in Texas. Still, we get our share of winter weather, at least by our standards. People who work outdoors need to understand the risks associated with working in cold weather and take appropriate safety precautions. Here are some tips to help take the chill out of your job this winter.

Get back to basics

Extreme cold is relatively rare in many parts of Texas, so let’s start by refreshing our memory on the basics of winter weather safety:

  • Wear multiple layers of clothing instead of one thick layer.
  • Fuel your body during the day with warm, high-calorie food and warm, sweet beverages. Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • Take frequent, short breaks in warm shelter.
  • Learn to recognize and treat cold stress.

Don’t slip up

Snow and ice make walking and climbing slippery propositions. Follow these tips to keep your feet on solid ground:

  • Clear snow and ice from walking surfaces, and spread deicer as quickly as possible after a winter storm.
  • Wear footwear that has good traction and insulation.
  • Take short steps, and walk slower so you can react quickly to changes in traction.
  • Check ladder rungs and boots for ice and snow before climbing. Do the same before climbing into and out of vehicles and machinery.

Get in the zone…safely

Work zones can be dangerous for crews, especially when roads are slick and passing drivers are more likely to lose control of their vehicles:

  • Wear high-visibility vests at all times.
  • Use signs to warn drivers that flaggers are ahead, and keep flagging stations well-lit.
  • Face traffic so you are not caught off guard by approaching vehicles.
  • Stay behind protective barriers whenever possible.
  • Avoid cell phones and other distractions.

Conduct yourself properly around power lines

The holiday tornadoes that swept through the Dallas area a few years ago caused more than 50,000 power outages. Keep these safety tips in mind when working near downed or damaged power lines:

  • Assume all power lines are energized, and stay clear of them.
  • Report downed or damaged power lines to the utility company.
  • Make sure only properly-trained electrical utility workers handle damaged power lines.
  • Never drive over downed power lines.

Small to mid-size employers use Professional Employer Organizations (PEO) such as LCR Resource, Inc. to assist them in keeping a safe work place. PEO’s can assist in training staff through toolbox talks and establish safety practices to eliminate potential risk factors. Give us a call to find out more (915) 701-2325

Stay Safe!

Source: Texas Mutual Insurance Company

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