Lineworkers must often work in extreme weather conditions, which includes sub-zero temperatures, ice and snow. When the temperatures drop, line crews can download OSHA's Quick Card on Cold Stress to share during safety meetings.
OSHA also released its Cold Stress Guide to educate outside workers about how cold is too cold and how to recognize when their coworkers have hypothermia or frostbite.
Here are some quick tips for workers in extreme cold situations.
Safety Tips for Workers
- Your employer should ensure that you know the symptoms of cold stress.
- Monitor your physical condition and that of your coworkers.
- Take regular breaks to warm up when needed.
- Dress properly for the cold.
- Stay dry in the cold because moisture or dampness, e.g. from sweating, can increase the rate of heat loss from the body.
- Keep extra clothing (including underwear) handy in case you get wet and need to change.
- Drink warm sweetened fluids (no alcohol).
- Avoid touching cold metal or wet surfaces with bare skin.
- Use proper engineering controls, safe work practices, and personal protective equipment (PPE) provided by your employer.
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