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Safety Moment

12/1/21
Grainger Editorial Staff

Grainger is committed to protecting people, property, processes and the environment, both in the workplace and at home. To expand on this commitment, Grainger is providing a monthly Safety Moment to help drive awareness of critical safety issues and provide practical solutions to mitigate associated risk. Use these insights to assist with your safety committee meetings, toolbox talks and shift-starter meetings.

This Month's Theme: Cold Stress

Prolonged exposure to cold weather or cold indoor working conditions can lead to cold stress. Some employers fail to recognize and address cold stress hazards because they don't know the related signs and symptoms, which include:

  • Hypothermia
  • Frostbite
  • Cold water immersion
  • Dehydration

Solutions that Work

Even the most attentive and proactive worker can’t tackle the dangers of cold stress alone. A cooperative approach is important. OSHA’s guidance for cold stress prevention lists engineering controls, training, safe work practices and personal protective equipment (PPE)such as appropriate cold weather attireas foundational components for employers to build into their work plans. Employers should:

  • Train workers on how to help prevent and recognize cold stress illnesses and injuries, and how to apply first aid treatment
  • Give workers frequent breaks in warm areas
  • Ensure employees are dressed properly in cold temperatures
  • Reduce exposure time
  • Allow workers to interrupt work if they feel a cold condition affecting them
  • Provide engineering controls such as thermostats and door flaps to help control exposure indoors

Register to view an on-demand cold stress webinar.

Learn how Grainger can help

Use These Resources to Support Training and Awareness

Past Theme: Working at Elevated Heights

People working at heights often do not take sufficient precautions, especially when carrying out work at relatively low heights (four to six feet). They fail to plan correctly, underestimate the risks involved or are just in a hurry to finish the job.

This leads to:

  • Higher serious injuries and fatalities (SIFs)
  • Higher direct and indirect cost related to a fall incident
  • Higher worker compensation rates

Solutions that Work

Employers and workers share in the responsibility of making sure all work done at elevated heights is done safely. Employers can help workers to understand what they need to do to protect themselves and should:

  • Establish fall prevention and protection policies and procedures and educate employees
  • Select proper fall protection for each employee working at elevated heights
  • Regularly inspect all equipment used in working at heights
  • Train employees on proper inspection, maintenance, and use of equipment
  • Take precautions to minimize the risk of falling objects

Employees, in turn, should learn and practice safe procedures and follow company policies and procedures and avoid cutting corners to save time.

Use These Resources to Support Training and Awareness

The information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication. No representation is made that the information or references are complete or remain current. This article is not a substitute for review of current applicable government regulations, industry standards, or other standards specific to your business and/or activities and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific questions should refer to the applicable standards or consult with an attorney.

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