Every Minnesotan knows that winter here can be both beautiful and brutal. If you work outdoors or frequently navigate treacherous conditions as part of your job, you are likely more familiar with the “brutal” elements.
As such, now is an excellent time to ensure you will be safe on the job this winter.
Winter weather precautions that can keep workers safe
Depending on your location and occupation, you could require several measures to prevent work-related accidents and keep you safe this winter. For instance, if you work outside, you should have:
- Proper outerwear, including gloves, hats and boots
- Snow removal equipment, including shovels or snowblowers
- Floor mats and other protections against icy walkways
Employees should also have access to covered shelters to escape extreme conditions.
It is also crucial to winterize your vehicle. You may already do this for your own car, but you should also confirm that a work truck, construction equipment or other commercial vehicle is also safe. Snow tires, windshield wipers and brakes should all be inspected before the winter weather hits.
What to do when these measures fail
If these precautions are not in place, or you are worried that your employer is ill-equipped to protect workers from cold, ice and snow, you may want to bring up these concerns sooner rather than later. If your employer is not responsive, you can file a complaint with MN OSHA Compliance.
Unfortunately, workers can pay a devastating price when they get hurt or sick at work because of cold. Conditions like frostbite and hypothermia can have painful consequences for workers; falls off icy platforms can cause catastrophic injuries; motor vehicle accidents on slippery roads can be deadly.
If these incidents happen, causing injury or death to you or someone you love, the damages can last long after the winter weather clears out. Thus, it is essential for individuals to take precautions on the job site and call out any potentially dangerous conditions before an accident occurs.