From general contracting to electrical to maintenance to telecom, there are several industries that require regular outdoor maintenance. While this can present challenges all year round, there are special concerns to consider during the winter. Exhaustion, frostbite, falls and other weather-related injuries are all potential risks when the weather turns cold, snowy, and icy. To avoid these winter hazards, be sure to take the proper precautions in several different areas.
8 Winter Safety Tips for Outdoor Workers
As a general contractor, electrician, municipality worker, or other outdoor professional, it’s important that you’re properly prepared for inclement weather before it hits. By following these eight winter safety tips for outdoor workers, you’ll ensure your safety all winter long.
The secret to dressing properly for outdoor winter work is layering. Temperatures vary throughout the day no matter what time of year it is, and wearing multiple layers of clothing allows you to adjust your level of protection based on the current weather.
Cautious and aware driving is always important but becomes especially so during the colder months. Icy, snow, and flooding can hit at any time and make navigating roadways dangerous. Reduce your risk of driving-related issues by going slow, avoiding tailgating and texting, and wearing your seatbelt at all times.
When it’s cold, you need to take regular breaks to avoid overtaxing your body. Find a warm indoor resting place every couple of hours to keep your body protected and if extreme cold hits, go inside immediately. Don’t risk your personal safety to get the job done – the work will still be there when the temperature returns to safe levels.
You’ll sweat while performing heavy manual labor tasks, even in the cold. Avoid dehydration by regularly sipping water or warm beverages such as tea. However, stay away from caffeine and alcohol, as both encourage dehydration.
Often it’s necessary to use portable heaters in enclosed spaces while you work. If you need to utilize gas, propane, or other non-electric heaters in enclosed spaces, make sure the shelter is properly ventilated.
Before shoveling, lifting, climbing ladders, or performing any other strenuous outdoor activity, be sure to warm up your body up first. Stretching exercises will keep your muscles warm, which increases their effectiveness and reduces the risk of strain or other injury.
Making good food choices before and during your workday will also help keep your body performing as efficiently as possible. Avoid junk food and greasy choices that tax your body in favor of healthy carb and protein boosts from foods such as pasta and lean meats.
Take some time at the beginning of each day to check the weather, traffic alerts, and the fluid and tire levels on your vehicle. This will make route and schedule planning easier and ensure that your work van or truck is in tip top shape to take on the day.
Stay Warm, Stay Organized!
While you can’t control all the potential risks that outdoor winter work can present, you can control the organization of your work vehicle. Adrian Steel offers several cargo management solutions that will help you stay organized and work more efficiently this winter. Give us a call at (800) 677-2726 or find a distributor near you to get started today!
Connect with Adrian Steel on Social Media for more winter tips and tricks!