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Workplace Safety and Health Law Blog

This Cold Is Different: Protect Your Workers

The recent “Polar Vortex” has stunned even snow-hardened Minnesotans. I became concerned about worker safety in this brutal cold when I stopped late one night to pump gas on my way back to Atlanta from out of state trial prep. Thermometers showed it as seven degrees but with the substantial wind, it was well below zero. I nearly froze pumping gas. When I arrived the next morning at a rental car garage, it was obvious that despite the attendants wearing more winter clothes than Ralhie’s brother in the Christmas Story, they were suffering in the shade and wind. Imagine the injury potential for a construction worker, lineman or any employee working in the cold.

I’ve written before on the hazards of cleaning up after a snow storm, but this time I want to remind employers of the threats to a wide range of employees laboring in the harsh cold that will likely be our lot this winter.

With that in mind, I have linked below to a number of useful sites for guidance in protecting workers this winter.

From EHS Today: How Cold Is Too Cold: Tips To Protect Outdoor Workers.

From CPWR, an excellent construction “tool box” talk on working in the cold.

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