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Labour, OH&S

WorkSafeBC calls for cold weather caution

DCN-JOC News Services
WorkSafeBC calls for cold weather caution
SHUTTERSTOCK

RICHMOND, B.C. – WorkSafeBC is reminding employers and employees to take extra precautions when working in cold weather.

With British Columbia and much of western Canada under a cold snap, WorkSafeBC is cautioning those subject to substantial outdoor cold-weather exposure such as construction workers, utility and maintenance workers, transport truck drivers, recreational instructors, operators and attendants to follow extra measures to ensure their safety.

“Working in cold-weather conditions can lead to serious injuries if you’re not prepared. Employers need to be aware of the risks to their workers during this cold snap, and ensure measures are in place to keep their workforce safe,” stated WorkSafeBC director of OHS practice and engineering Tom Brocklehurst.

WorkSafeBC recommends following these safety tips for reducing cold weather risks for workers:

  • Elimination, by considering if work can be done in a different environment
  • Making physical modifications to facilities, equipment and processes can reduce exposure to cold weather and considering if heated warming shelters or if machines and tools can be designed so they can be operated without having to remove mittens or gloves
  • Changing administrative controls by considering if work practices and work policies can be altered to reduce risk such as work rotation to decrease cold exposure or pacing work differently to avoid exertion in cold weather
  • Considering whether personal protective equipment (PPE) such as personal battery-operated heaters or chemical heating pads under clothing can be used. Workers need layered clothing and a head covering, and must keep hands and feet warm and dry.

Workers or employers with questions about working in cold weather are encouraged to call WorkSafeBC’s Prevention Information Line at 1-888-621-7233 and more information is available at worksafebc.com.

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