Toolbox Talks Cold Weather

Brrr, it’s cold out there — especially if you work outdoors for a living during the winter months! If you are concerned about safety in cold weather, and you need Toolbox Talks about this topic, then you’ve come to the right place. Check out all our resources below on safety in cold weather.

Toolbox Talks Cold Weather

Toolbox Talk Cold Weather #1

Dress for the Cold Weather While Working Outside: Given the colder weather, it’s important to dress properly so you can keep warm while at work. You can try dressing in layers so you can add or remove clothing as required. Layers of light-weight clothing will also keep you warmer than a single layer of heavy clothes. You should also wear suitable cold weather head protection to prevent the loss of body heat. This will also protect your ears from possible frostbite. When making clothing choices, be sure they do not pose an entanglement hazard such as long scarves, loose sleeves, and draw strings. Your clothing should also fit correctly and never restrict your movement. If you’re ever in doubt about what to wear to work, please check the weather forecast and dress accordingly.

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Dress for the Cold Weather While Working Outside: Given the colder weather, it's important to dress properly so you can keep warm while at work. You can try dressing in layers so you can add or remove clothing as required. Layers of light-weight clothing will also keep you warmer than a single layer of heavy clothes. You should also wear suitable cold weather head protection to prevent the loss of body heat. This will also protect your ears from possible frostbite. When making clothing choices, be sure they do not pose an entanglement hazard such as long scarves, loose sleeves, and draw strings. Your clothing should also fit correctly and never restrict your movement. If you're ever in doubt about what to wear to work, please check the weather forecast and dress accordingly.


Toolbox Talk Cold Weather #2

Are You Dressing Properly for Cold Weather Hazards While at Work: When the weather gets cold, it’s sometimes difficult to work outside for long periods of time. Depending on where you live, low temperatures, cool winds, and dampness are common weather elements that we must face daily. It’s for this reason that we need to be mindful of the hazards of colder weather so we can protect ourselves accordingly. Wear at least three layers of clothing to protect yourself: 1) an outer layer to break the wind, 2) a middle layer of wool or synthetic fabric to retain insulation in a damp environment, 3) an inner layer of cotton or synthetic weave to allow for proper ventilation. It’s also important to protecting your feet, hands, face, and head from the cold weather.

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Are You Dressing Properly for Cold Weather Hazards While at Work: When the weather gets cold, it’s sometimes difficult to work outside for long periods of time. Depending on where you live, low temperatures, cool winds, and dampness are common weather elements that we must face daily. It’s for this reason that we need to be mindful of the hazards of colder weather so we can protect ourselves accordingly. Wear at least three layers of clothing to protect yourself: 1) an outer layer to break the wind, 2) a middle layer of wool or synthetic fabric to retain insulation in a damp environment, 3) an inner layer of cotton or synthetic weave to allow for proper ventilation. It's also important to protecting your feet, hands, face, and head from the cold weather.


Toolbox Talk Cold Weather #3

Beware of Slippery Conditions While Working Outside: With the colder weather upon us, now is the time when slippery surfaces can form. Please remember to check your work area and your path of travel for icy/wet surfaces that could cause you to slip and fall. If you find slippery conditions, please take the time to mitigate the hazard to prevent someone from becoming injured. If you have access to salt/sand, be sure to spread it on icy areas. You can also try walking like a penguin when conditions are slippery, as doing so will help you keep your balance. Simply extend your arms to the sides for good balance, keep your knees loose, and your feet pointed slightly. Also, if you need to drive in slippery conditions, remember to adjust your speed and slow down if required.

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Beware of Slippery Conditions While Working Outside: With the colder weather upon us, now is the time when slippery surfaces can form. Please remember to check your work area and your path of travel for icy/wet surfaces that could cause you to slip and fall. If you find slippery conditions, please take the time to mitigate the hazard to prevent someone from becoming injured. If you have access to salt/sand, be sure to spread it on icy areas. You can also try walking like a penguin when conditions are slippery, as doing so will help you keep your balance. Simply extend your arms to the sides for good balance, keep your knees loose, and your feet pointed slightly. Also, if you need to drive in slippery conditions, remember to adjust your speed and slow down if required.


Toolbox Talk Cold Weather #4

Cold Weather Can Cause Strained Muscles While Working Outside: When the weather is cold, it seems to be the time when we feel the most aches and pains. The reason for this is because the cold weather deceases blood flow to our muscles, so they instantly tighten up when we are exposed to low temperatures. A tight, cold muscle shortens its length, and this reduces our range of motion. This means that normal tasks such as walking up the stairs or reaching overhead are much more difficult in the colder weather. A strained or “pulled” muscle occurs when a shortened muscle is lengthened beyond its comfort zone. During the cold weather, even the simplest tasks like picking up a bag on the ground, or tying our shoes, can result in a pulled muscle. Please keep this in mind, and practice caution while working outdoors.

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Cold Weather Can Cause Strained Muscles While Working Outside: When the weather is cold, it seems to be the time when we feel the most aches and pains. The reason for this is because the cold weather deceases blood flow to our muscles, so they instantly tighten up when we are exposed to low temperatures. A tight, cold muscle shortens its length, and this reduces our range of motion. This means that normal tasks such as walking up the stairs or reaching overhead are much more difficult in the colder weather. A strained or “pulled” muscle occurs when a shortened muscle is lengthened beyond its comfort zone. During the cold weather, even the simplest tasks like picking up a bag on the ground, or tying our shoes, can result in a pulled muscle. Please keep this in mind, and practice caution while working outdoors.


Toolbox Talk #5

Beware of Frostbite: Do you know the signs of frostbite? Usually, your skin will become white and you won’t have much circulation. In the worst possible scenario, blisters can actually form. This sounds terrible, but you won’t feel any pain. If you have signs of frostbite, it’s important that it’s treated properly. The first thing you need to do is warm-up. You can add extra clothing or cover up with a blanket. Make sure you also get out of the cold and into a warm location. When inside, you can put the frostbitten area in warm water (not hot). Remove any wet or tight clothing that may cut off blood flow to the affected area. DO NOT rub the affected area because rubbing causes damage to the skin and tissue. The cold weather is here to stay for a while yet, so keep your guard up against cold weather injuries.

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Beware of Frostbite: Do you know the signs of frostbite? Usually, your skin will become white and you won't have much circulation. In the worst possible scenario, blisters can actually form. This sounds terrible, but you won't feel any pain. If you have signs of frostbite, it’s important that it’s treated properly. The first thing you need to do is warm-up. You can add extra clothing or cover up with a blanket. Make sure you also get out of the cold and into a warm location. When inside, you can put the frostbitten area in warm water (not hot). Remove any wet or tight clothing that may cut off blood flow to the affected area. DO NOT rub the affected area because rubbing causes damage to the skin and tissue. The cold weather is here to stay for a while yet, so keep your guard up against cold weather injuries.


Toolbox Talk #6

Beware of the Potential for Hypothermia While Working Outside: When working outdoors in the cold weather, you need to keep your safety in mind. Hypothermia can set in when your normal body temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit. You may notice signs including fatigue, drowsiness, uncontrolled shivering, cold bluish skin, slurred speech, clumsy movements, and even confusion. Hypothermia is a medical emergency and emergency assistance must be called (911). Until emergency personnel arrives, please move the person to a warm, dry area. Remove any wet clothing, and replace either provide new clothing or wrap them in a warm blanket. Have the person drink warm, sweet drinks (sugar water or sports-type drinks) if they are alert. Avoid drinks with caffeine (coffee, tea, or hot chocolate) or alcohol.

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Beware of the Potential for Hypothermia While Working Outside: When working outdoors in the cold weather, you need to keep your safety in mind. Hypothermia can set in when your normal body temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit. You may notice signs including fatigue, drowsiness, uncontrolled shivering, cold bluish skin, slurred speech, clumsy movements, and even confusion. Hypothermia is a medical emergency and emergency assistance must be called (911). Until emergency personnel arrives, please move the person to a warm, dry area. Remove any wet clothing, and replace either provide new clothing or wrap them in a warm blanket. Have the person drink warm, sweet drinks (sugar water or sports-type drinks) if they are alert. Avoid drinks with caffeine (coffee, tea, or hot chocolate) or alcohol.

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