The agency is providing guidance for employers to protect their employees from safety risks during winter weather. It includes preparation and response recommendations.
Practicing cold weather driving is among the suggestions offered by OSHA. Specific tips include:
- Rehearse maneuvering slowly on the ice or snow in an empty lot during daylight.
- Steer into a skid.
- Know what the brakes will do, i.e., stomp on antilock brakes and pump non-antilock brakes.
- Allow for longer stopping distances on water or ice covered roadways.
- Keep idling time to a minimum, especially when the windows are up.
- Increase the distance between cars.
- Avoid fatigue by getting plenty of rest before a trip and stopping at least every three hours.
Workers face additional risks during winter storms such as being struck by falling objects. Slips, trips, and falls on slippery walkways are also a hazard.
OSHA recommends employers tell workers to assume all power lines are energized and stay clear of any downed or damaged power lines. Clearing walking surfaces of snow and ice, and using salt where appropriate also is recommended.
The agency suggests employers provide engineering controls, personal protective equipment, and safe work practices to reduce the length and severity of exposure to the cold.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
January 9, 2012
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