When you are working out in the field, there are plenty of safety concerns. During the winter, the number of potential dangers increases for telecom workers. Be sure to follow each of these winter tips to remain safe on the job this season.
If the company you work with provides winter safety training, take it. Typical winter safety training includes being able to identify dangerous work conditions, recognizing cold stress injuries, dressing appropriately, and eating/drinking for work in the cold. If your employer does not currently offer training, talk to them about how it may help avoid workplace injuries during the wintertime.
Even if your employer doesn’t offer specific wintertime safety training, you should learn the signs and symptoms of cold stress, hypothermia, and frostbite. Each of these conditions is serious and can even be potentially fatal. Educate yourself about what to look for to identify them in yourself and others.
Using the buddy system can always improve safety on the job, whether you’re lifting something heavy or trying to stay warm. Having a buddy on the job will help you recognize signs of cold stress. This can help you prevent illness or injury. Of course, this will only be effective if everyone on the job site is educated about the signs of cold stress, as mentioned above.
Snow and ice are more common in the winter, which makes falling on the job more of a hazard. You should keep all workspaces and walkways clear of snow and ice. If there is an area that is particularly dangerous, mark it off, and label it as hazardous so everyone can be more aware. You should also keep your hands free while you walk so you can steady yourself if you happen to fall.
When working outside in the winter, you should dress in layers. This will help insulate your body and keep you warm without making you sweat. You should also always wear a hat. Much of the heat in our bodies escape through the top of our heads. So, keeping it covered will help keep you warm. Doing this is key to avoiding cold-related illnesses like those mentioned above.
High-visibility and heated gear should be used as well. Wintertime can often bring poor weather, which impacts visibility. You want to ensure what you are wearing makes you visible to everyone on the job. Heated gear will also help keep you warm for several hours, just in case you get stuck in the field longer than expected.
Most people don’t think about hydration in the winter, but it is a concern year-round for outdoor telecom workers. While hot beverages like coffee and tea may be more appealing during this time of year, opt for hot water or sports drinks. Coffee will actually hinder your body’s ability to heat itself.
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