From slippery elevated work areas to white-knuckle driving in blizzard conditions, winter poses some serious challenges to workers across much of North America. Here are seven statistics related to working in winter conditions:
  1. When climbing onto or off of equipment during the snowy season, workers should maintain three points of contact to increase their stability and reduce their chances of slipping or falling.
  2. One way to help keep your balance when walking on slippery surfaces is to keep your hands out of your pockets.
  3. Two things to avoid before shoveling snow are caffeine and nicotine, because they increase your heart rate and may cause your blood vessels to constrict, thereby increasing your risk for a heart attack.
  4. Up to 10 percent of your body heat can be lost through your head, so it’s important to wear a hat in cold outdoor working conditions. (
  5. It takes five to seven days to become acclimatized to working outdoors in cold conditions. (Commonwealth of Virginia Workers’ Compensation Services).
  6. Carbon monoxide accumulation in buildings is a major health hazard for workers in the winter months. Six pieces of equipment that can cause carbon monoxide poisoning if operated indoors without adequate ventilation are gasoline/propane powered forklifts, gas appliances and fireplaces, cars or trucks, welding equipment, gasoline-powered compressors and pumps, and fuel-powered heaters.
  7. If you are driving on ice-covered roads, your stopping distances will be anywhere from three to 12 times longer than if you were braking on a dry road. (Health and Safety Ontario)