4 Strategies for Keeping Your Employees Safe This Winter
In many industries, winter brings with it a whole raft of hazards for your employees and this winter has been particularly challenging due to COVID-19.
That said, there’s no reason a vigilant company can’t keep its workers safe throughout the rest of the winter. If you’re looking for a few strategies to keep your employees safe while the weather is frightful, consider the following four best practices.
1) Provide Comprehensive Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Employers are required to supply personal protective equipment (PPE) to their staff members based on the nature of their particular job, based on guidelines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Although there aren't any COVID-19-specific OSHA guidelines, the federal agency has strongly encouraged companies to supply additional PPE to safeguard employees from COVID-related risks, which may include gloves, face shields and respiratory protection.
Reusable PPE ought to be regularly examined and cleaned, as well as stored carefully. Single-use PPE ought to be discarded in ways that avoid spreading of disease.
2) Review Your COVID Plan
At this point in the game, your company should have a COVID-19 plan in place. This plan should involve various social distancing measures, which may involve having some employees work remotely. It should also cover the steps to take in the event one or more of your employees test positive for the novel coronavirus.
As we all know, COVID-19 guidelines and recommendations have constantly been evolving, as experts learn more about the disease and public officials come to grips with new knowledge. Now is a good time to review all of the latest revisions to COVID guidelines laid out by government agencies. Be sure to properly communicate any changes you make to your policy.
3) Conduct a Job Hazard Analysis
The objective of a job hazard analysis is to spot hazards and potential hazards before they lead to accidents. Winter presents distinct, and this year unprecedented, hazards. It’s crucial to think about how standard job duties, tools and working conditions may be affected by the season.
When conducting a JHA, concentrate on one position at a time, tracking that job throughout your facility to ascertain any winter-related hazards. Figure out if equipment maintenance is necessary to compensate for the shift in average temperature. Any JHA should involve staff members, as they have boots on the ground experience that can be invaluable when it comes to avoiding serious accidents.
4) Consider Cold-Related Injuries and Illness
Anybody spending time in cold conditions is at risk of cold-related injuries and illnesses. Those who must spend prolonged periods of time in the cold should be trained on the signs and symptoms of typical cold-related ailments, including hypothermia and frostbite.
When possible, try to have cold-conditions staff members work in pairs or groups, as this can help catch signs of cold-related illnesses that might be dismissed by someone working alone. Also, remind staff members to keep their overall well-being in mind, both before coming to work and while at work.
We Can Be Your Safety-First Talent Partner
At Quanta, we work closely with our clients to ensure the health and safety of hardworking employees. Please contact us today to find out how we can collaborate with your company.