Municipal Workers: Plan for Risks When Tackling Winter-Related Tasks
When winter storms hit, municipal workers often have to jump into action to clear roadways and sidewalks of snow and ice, remove downed trees, assist in repairing damaged power lines and help those who may be trapped or stranded in vehicles. In these situations, they can be faced with slick roads and surfaces, forceful winds and extremely cold temperatures.
To help workers prepare for these winter events and reduce potential injuries, illnesses or fatalities, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have collaborated on a website that provides information about potential winter weather hazards.
Topics covered on the site include:
- Cold stress, including frostbite, hypothermia and trench foot
- Preparedness, including how to dress properly and adopt safe work practices
- Hazards and precautions, such as
- Winter driving
- Work zone traffic safety
- Being stranded in a vehicle
- Shoveling snow
- Using power equipment, like snow blowers
- Clearing snow from roofs and other elevations
- Slips on snow and ice
- Repairing and/or working near downed or damaged power lines
- Removing downed trees
Remember that United Heartland’s WalkSafe campaign also provides our customers a wealth of resources and tools to help their employees avoid slips and falls on snow and ice. And if you haven’t already, please subscribe to our Risk Connection e-blasts, which provide important information related to WalkSafe topics and other useful safety tips.