The cold weather is coming! Are you ready?
If you work in a job where you spend a large portion of your shift outside or within an unheated warehouse, you’ll want to be prepared to keep yourself safe and healthy as the wintery conditions head our way. Even if you work in a heated building, travel becomes more challenging in the winter and you can take steps to prepare.
Avoid slips and falls
Icy conditions in parking lots, sidewalks and surfaces where you’ll be walking are one of the top causes of injuries on the job. Always wear the right footwear (non-skid with heavy treads for more traction) and watch where you’re walking. If you notice an icy patch, a walkway with pooled water or otherwise slippery situation, alert your supervisor the area needs to be de-iced or cleaned. Also, avoid carrying anything heavy that could cause you to lose your balance.
Dress for the elements
Your clothes are your number one protection against the elements. Dress in loose-fitting layers so you’ll be able to adjust how much you’re wearing if you get warm during the day. Cotton and goose down are poor choices, as they get very cold when wet. Instead, choose the following layers:
- Moisture-wicking first layer. This is the layer next to your skin, which removes sweat and helps you stay warm. Choose a synthetic polypropylene long john.
- Light-insulating second layer. On top of the wicking layer, add a fleece or wool sweater. This will help trap your body’s heat.
- Heavy insulting third layer. A heavier fleece or wool sweater is a good choice to further keep body heat from escaping.
- Wind- and waterproof outer layer. To protect you from the elements, choose a jacket and pants that are made of a wind- and water-resistant fabric.
- Socks, gloves and hat. To keep your feet their warmest, a two-layer system that includes a moisture-wicking first sock, followed be a fleece or wool second sock if your best choice. Wear gloves inside a work mitten—mittens are warmer but can be removed if you need to do high-detail work that requires your fingers to be mobile. Finally, top your outfit off with a warm hat made of fleece or wool.
Keep your car safe
Winter weather presents challenges for anyone who needs to travel to work. To winterize your car, have a service shop check the radiator, antifreeze level and tire tread (or put on all-weather or snow tires). Be sure your tank is full of gas to avoid ice build-up in the fuel lines. Keep a safety kit in your trunk that includes: a portable cell phone charger and extra batteries, blankets, non-perishable food (such as peanut butter, dried fruit or nuts), bottled water, booster cables, flares, a tire pump, a bag of cat litter for traction, a compass, maps, a battery-powered flashlight, a first aid kit and plastic bags.
Questions about staying safe at work?
You can always check with your manager or recruiter for more information. And if you’re in search of a job, Inter-Connect can help. To learn more, visit our job search page.