With proper protection measures, employees working in cold environments can carry out their duties regardless of the temperature. But without proper systems in place, working in cold conditions could be detrimental to an employee’s health.
Here are some guidelines that are worth considering if your employees work in a cold environment:
1. Provide Employees with Appropriate Workwear
Section 8 of the Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 places a duty on employers to supply Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) where risks cannot be eliminated or adequately controlled.
Dressing in layers is key, starting with an outer layer that allows ventilation and is waterproof and a windbreaker if necessary. A middle layer will act to absorb sweat and retain insulation, while the inner layer of cotton allows ventilation.
The Health Safety Authority advises that “In sourcing PPE, the employer must therefore, select appropriate PPE which is user-friendly and which fits the individual employee correctly, after adjustment if necessary.”
2. Ensure your employees are well versed on the importance of their workwear, safe work practices and requirements and emergency procedures.
By educating your employees on the importance of their safety and making sure that they are compliant with company regulations it is less likely that accidents would occur.
Under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, there is a duty on employees to wear PPE provided. Employees must be trained as regards the wearing, proper use and any limitations of PPE.
3. Allow frequent and short breaks
This prevents prolonged sitting or standing which often leads to fatigue and allows circulation to regulate. Allowing frequent short breaks will make the overall productivity of employees better.
4. Give new employees time to adjust
Allowing time to adjust to the temperature before giving them a full workload means that your employees will not be overwhelmed.
5. Correct Footwear
Wearing the correct footwear is so important when working in cold weather. Depending on the working environment, footwear may also need to be protective.
By following these guidelines you are looking after your employees and your company. Service Matters can help you to choose the correct workwear and also provides laundry service to ensure that your employees, as representatives of your company, are always looking their best. Contact Service Matters today.