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:
- 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.
- One way to help keep your balance when walking on slippery surfaces is to keep your hands out of your pockets.
- 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.
- 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. (LiveScience.com)
- It takes five to seven days to become acclimatized to working outdoors in cold conditions. (Commonwealth of Virginia Workers’ Compensation Services).
- 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.
- 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)