Cold Weather Risks

        Your Responsibilities During Inclement Weather


Working in the extreme cold can be dangerous for employees, and precipitation and wind exacerbate that danger. OSHA has issued guidelines offering precautionary measures to prevent cold stress, which can lead to:

     • Tissue Damage

     • Hypothermia

     • Frostbite

     • Trench Foot—Conditions

all of which can cause serious injury or death.

Factors that contribute to cold stress are:

     • Cold Air Temperatures

     • High Velocity Air Movement

     • Dampness of the Air

     • Contact with Cold Water or Surfaces

Therefore, it is important to remember that even temperatures of 50 degrees, with enough rain and wind, can cause cold stress.

Since your employees work almost exclusively outdoors, the weather plays a large role in their daily working conditions. Sometimes, working in rainy, cold or snowy conditions is simply unavoidable, so it is important that your employees are prepared and educated on handling the conditions safely. Inclement weather can also impact other responsibilities as an employer, so you need to be prepared as well.