As winter cold arrives, employees of service firms, first responders, and construction contractors face cold-weather challenges daily.
The most common winter injuries are hypothermia, frostbite and trench foot, according to OSHA. Trench foot can occur when feet stay wet for extended periods of time. For employees with medical conditions such as diabetes, a foot injury can turn into a severe problem, in some cases leading to amputation. Foot care is important for all employees, but is critical for those with diabetes.
Before winter rolls in, remind your employees of some cold-weather tips:
- Wear loose-fitting layers of clothing for better insulation.
- Wear hats and hoods that prevent body heat from escaping.
- Wear knit masks when appropriate.
- Wear insulated gloves to avoid exposure.
- Wear insulated and waterproof boots, keeping extra pairs of socks and other clothing items on hand.
OSHA does not require employers to furnish cold-weather wear; however, some employers provide winter gear for greater protection.