Staying Safe at Work in Extreme Weather

Many people across the country work in extreme or difficult environments; this is especially true for those who work outside in the unforgiving elements. While it might not seem serious, certain jobs can be very dangerous and even lethal if proper precautions are not taken. For example, being too hydrated on a hot summer day while working on a roof can cause an employee to become dangerously ill. Employees should always be aware of the dangers and be prepared to prevent them.

Keeping the Body Warm or Cool

Keeping the body warm or cool in extreme weather is very important. If the body gets too hot, the employee may become severely dehydrated and pass out. For those who are outside in the cold for extended periods of time, they may develop hypothermia. Large heavy coats, thermal underwear, and insulated work boots can help in cold weather; an air vest will help in very hot environments, such as those that many welders work in.

Staying Hydrated & Nourished

Keeping the body hydrated is important in all temperatures, even the coldest. However, it is also important to ensure that the body is nourished at every opportunity. The body needs carbohydrates for energy and electrolytes to replace those lost while sweating. Becoming malnourished or suffering from electrolyte imbalances on the job can reduce productivity and result in illness.

Safety Gear & Emergency Kits

Safety gear, such as a trailing rope in snow storms, is a vital part of the job. Employees should always have the proper protection from elements, risky tools, and potentially dangerous structures or falls. Emergency kits are always an excellent idea as well. Kits could be as simple as a standard first aid kit, or they could also contain a wide variety of items needed for survival. For truck drivers who are driving through extreme winter weather, heavy blankets, non-perishable food, extra clothing, bottled water, a radio, and items needed for starting a fire are very important.

Even in the best of circumstances, employees working in extreme heat, cold, or elements face dangerous conditions. Many problems can be avoided with a bit of precautionary action.