“It’s as important to stay warm in the winter as it is to stay cool in the summer,” said Mike Davis, a Product Specialist for the Safety and Warehouse Equipment Group at IBT Industrial Solutions. “Anybody that works outside—or in an unheated warehouse—can be affected.”
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That includes construction workers, dock workers, police officers, emergency personnel, and sanitation workers—or even those who drive forklifts or pick inventory in an unheated warehouse, Davis adds.
Dangers of Winter
OSHA publishes a Cold Stress Guide to help employers protect their workers against this hazard. According to OSHA, “extreme cold” conditions drive down the skin temperature and the body’s core temperature—leading to tissue damage, health problems, and even death.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) cites 5 main dangers of extreme cold in their guide to cold stress:
- Cold water immersion
- Trench foot
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Protect Yourself from Cold Stress
So how can you protect yourself—and your workers—from cold stress? NIOSH recommends the following:
- Provide warm areas for break periods
- Schedule cold jobs for the warmer part of the day
- Monitor workers at risk for cold stress
- Provide warm liquids to workers
- Provide training on the right personal protective equipment (PPE) for cold weather
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6 Workplace Winter Safety Products
To start, Davis recommends trying these 6 easy, inexpensive cold safety personal protective equipment (PPE) options to reduce cold stress:
- Hard hat liners—2-layer, cotton blend fleece liners protect head, ears, and forehead from cold, with special pockets for warming packs
- Anti-slip shoe outerbands—spikeless, ultra-lightweight, removable rubber outerbands for shoes allow you to work on slick surfaces with the same stability as on dry surfaces
- Insulated coveralls—water-repellant, cotton coveralls with storm flap covers and knit cuffs provide warmth and protection
- Warming packs—heat up to 120° F within 2 minutes after opening and last for up to 8 hours; great for warming up gloves, boots, and pockets
- High visibility winter jackets—100% waterproof jackets with fluorescent backgrounds, reflective tape, radio pockets, and removable quilted liners offer ANSI-compliant winter protection
- Microfinish grip gloves—for comfortable thermal insulation that quickly evaporates moisture from the skin and offers a full range of motion
More: Are You Wearing the Right PPE?
Get your Workplace Winter Safety products today!
Call Mike Davis, Product Specialist for the Safety and Warehouse Equipment Group at IBT Industrial Solutions, at (913) 261-2149 or firstname.lastname@example.org.