On Safety

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Seasonal safety: Winter

Working in a winter wonderland

January 22, 2014

Watching snow fall can be a beautiful sight. But for outdoor workers or commuters, it’s a sign of danger.

The photo below is of a view outside my home office window, taken around 3 p.m. on Jan. 21 – right in the middle of the East Coast’s daylong snowfall. I was glad I didn’t have to be out in it, knowing up to a foot of snow was expected, temperatures would feel like single digits, and driving conditions would be pretty bad.

But I may have been in the minority by staying indoors. Many other workers did have to go to work yesterday, and did have to work in such conditions – likely longer than the 10 minutes it took me to shovel the walkway and brush snow off the cars. For those outdoor workers, it’s important to know how to work safely in the snow and cold weather. Employees who work indoors likewise need to be careful when driving to and from work.

Fortunately, plenty of resources are out there. Several organizations offer tips to help keep workers safe during colder months, including NIOSH, OSHA and the National Safety Council.

Bundle up, and remember – in a few months, we’ll be talking about how it’s too hot.

The opinions expressed in "On Safety" do not necessarily reflect those of the National Safety Council or affiliated local Chapters.

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