Workers may be required to work outdoors in cold environments and for extended periods and many workers may not know the signs and symptoms of cold stress, including conditions such as hypothermia, frostbite or trench foot.
Snow removal operations can result in serious injuries or fatalities — particularly while removing ice or snow from rooftops and other building structures such as decks. Understanding these serious hazards, OSHA has a pamphlet for employers and workers involved in snow and ice removal activities.
If your job requires you to work outside in cold weather, it’s even more critical for you to be not only prepared with the proper gear to keep you safe from the dangers of the job, but also with proper clothing to keep you safe from the dangers of the cold.
Workers in cold weather can be exposed to serious health problems such as hypothermia, frostbite and trench foot. In certain instances, workers exposed to severe weather without personal protection equipment can also suffer shock that could lead to death.
A winter weather emergency policy should be part of a comprehensive business emergency preparedness program that gives employees guidelines on what to expect during severe weather events.
With the increase of holiday merchandise shopping, so does the increase in potential hazards in the workplace. Employers should take the appropriate increased actions to make sure all employees are properly trained, their work environment is safe, and they know how to respond to workplace emergencies.
Know your rights! Under federal law, all employees (temporary and full time) are entitled to a safe workplace and your employer must also provide a workplace free of known health and safety hazards.
If you are under age 18, there may be limits on the hours you work, the jobs you do, and the equipment you use. Likewise, your employer has the responsibility to provide a safe workplace. Learn more about young worker rights and safety.