Flip on the Weather Channel, and you will see icy cold temperatures in just about every part of the United States (except for Florida, where of course the temp is just about perfect!).
While most people can just put on an extra layer or crank up the heat at work, landfill workers must often work outside in cold temperatures. It can be difficult and downright dangerous if proper safety precautions aren’t followed.
Here are five tips to working safe in cold weather:
-Stay out of the wind. Even if you must work outside, find ways to shield yourself from the wind. This may be as simple as parking the machines so that the mechanic can work on the leeward side of the machine or adjusting the schedule of the litter crew to pick when the wind isn’t blowing as hard.
-Dress appropriately. Several light layers of clothing are best because the air trapped between the layers provides additional insulation. You can also remove layers as needed to avoid becoming overheated and sweating.
-Take frequent breaks. When it’s cold, increase the number of breaks to get inside, warm up and drink something warm.
-Avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol. Both can increase blood flow to your extremities and cause you to lose heat faster.
-Avoid frostbite. Keep your skin covered and be aware that the temperature can be affected by the windchill. It might be colder than you think, so cover up. The National Weather Service has a wind chill chart to help you figure out what the temperature really is. Find it here.