Sure winter hazards exist such as hypothermia and ice slips, and these should be addressed through safety. But a hidden threat is the rush that the cold puts workers into. People working outside are often hurrying to finish a task so that they can hop back into their vehicle and get warm again. This leaves room for error.
The cold also might tempt employees to take shortcuts. Instead of braving the cold to find the right tool for the job, they might use a make-shift tool that is nearby but not proper for the job at hand. This also opens room for error.
I suggest the two following things to make sure everybody stays safe in the winter.
- Be Prepared: All employees should be ready with several layers of clothing and gloves. If everyone is dressed properly, they will feel comfortable in the weather and be willing to follow safety protocols. Also, necessary items should be kept in a manner so that the cold doesn’t prevent them from being accessed.
- Slow Down: Rushing through a job creates errors. When people are in a hurry, they often forget crucial steps or don’t double-check what they are doing. The cold is a catalyst for making people want to work faster. Remind workers that it is okay to go slow in the cold and if production suffers that’s fine. It is better to get a job done properly and safely than to have an accident.
I hope that we all continue to work safely throughout the winter season by being prepared and slowing down.
JOHN H. GRIMSHAW IS PART OF THE SAFETY MANAGEMENT TEAM AT GRADE TECH POWER SERVICES. HE FIRMLY BELIEVES THAT THE PRINCIPLES OF SAFE WORK ARE APPLICABLE TO EVERY AREA OF LIFE. BY LEARNING TO BE SAFE, ONE ALSO LEARNS HOW TO LIVE A QUALITY AND MEANINGFUL LIFESTYLE.