OSHA’s Cold Weather Resources
As we gear up for winter weather, you can find info using OSHA’s cold weather resources on safely using powered equipment like snow blowers, clearing snow from heights, winter driving, working around downed power lines, and more at https://www.osha.gov/winter-weather
- OSHA Winter Weather: Plan. Equip. Train.
- OSHA Cold Stress Guide
- Refrigerated Warehousing (listed under warehouse hazards)
- OSHA Safe Winter Driving
Remember the various hazards of shoveling snow, operating powered equipment like snow blowers and preventing slips on Snow and Ice. OSHA has resources available to help workers stay safe, including a new pamphlet on snow removal, a cold stress Quick Card in English and Spanish, and a Winter Weather web page.
Alliance participants resources include:
- Cold Weather Toolbox Talk. Also available in Spanish.
- Cold Weather Hazard Alert. Also available in Spanish.
- Cold Weather Infographics — Protect Yourself from the Cold (English attached)
Employers should assess their worksites and develop a plan prior to a winter weather emergency. Please share this information, as appropriate.
Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:
- Dress in layers: Wear warm layers of clothing, such as thermal underwear, wool or fleece sweaters, and a waterproof outer layer.
- Cover your head, hands, and feet: The majority of your body’s heat is lost through your head, so wear a hat or head covering. Keep your hands and feet warm with gloves, mittens, and warm socks.
- Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Dehydration can lead to hypothermia.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine: Both alcohol and caffeine can lead to dehydration, which can increase your risk of hypothermia.
- Check your heating system: Make sure your heating system is functioning properly and that your carbon monoxide detector is working.
- Keep your home warm: Keep your home heated to a safe temperature and use space heaters with caution.
- Be careful when shoveling snow: Cold weather can put extra stress on your heart, so be careful when shoveling snow. Take frequent breaks and don’t overexert yourself.
- Be prepared for emergencies: Keep extra blankets, food, water, and a first aid kit in case of power outages or other emergencies.
By following these tips, you can stay safe and healthy during cold weather.