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Thought LeadersPPE in Winter: What to Consider

PPE in Winter: What to Consider

For a certain kind of professional, Personal Protective Equipment is vitally important. It can help to prevent a life-changing injury, but it can also help to stop chronic conditions from developing, so gradually that you don’t notice them.

Different lines of work will impose different requirements when it comes to personal protective equipment. If you’re working in a factory, you’ll need different PPE to someone working in a construction site.

But the time of year will also have a big influence on what PPE you wear. At wintertime, there are particular risks that make your choice of equipment especially consequential. Let’s take a look at the problem, and see what can be done about it.

Winter Risks

Cold

Let’s start with the most obvious. If it’s cold outside, then workers will need to wrap up warm. This applies especially to fingers, which are more vulnerable to the cold, and which might be required to perform delicate work.

Ice and Rain

We should also worry about the conditions underfoot. Slips and falls account for a sizeable chunk of workplace injuries, and when the ground is icy, the danger is higher. Get around this with an appropriate pair of workboots, with deep treads and steel protective components.

Visibility

During winter, the sunlight is less plentiful, and the daylight hours are fewer. This might make workers more difficult to see. This is especially dangerous when they’re working in places where mechanical hazards are present. Road workers, obviously, should be dressed in high-visibility gear.

Action to Take

Investing in Equipment

Investing in the appropriate PPE for all of your workers will help you to minimise risk. Don’t leave it to workers to make the investment themselves, and make sure that you select a reputable supplier. You’ll find quality PPE suppliers online.What seems like a saving might not be so attractive if it means that you’re cutting corners with safety.

Training Workers

If your workers aren’t trained in the proper use of the PPE, and you don’t have a culture in place where PPE is mandatory, then the level of protection provided is likely to be less than optimal. Don’t leave anything to chance: insist that everyone wears their personal protective equipment, andpunish those who don’t abide by the rules.

Conduct Risk Assessments

Winter is a time of year when acute risks can descend, posing a particular risk to outside workers. Employers should regularly take stock of these risks, and, where appropriate, take action to limit them. For example, if it looks as though a snowstorm is going to descend, or a red warning has been issued, it might be sensible to call a halt to work until the danger has subsided.

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