The snow, rain, cold weather has hidden hazards that we all need to be aware of when working, but it doesn’t have to stop us going about our daily business. Everyone just needs to know what the hazards might be, and how to overcome them.
Accidents and injuries can happen as people tend to get irritable in the winter months. So working in teams and checking on each other’s behaviour and safety can prevent accidents and sloppy work.
Sometimes working in the cold can be uncomfortable, hands and fingers feel numb, you find it hard to handle and grip work tools or other items.
Stiff fingers and limbs can make manual handling difficult and dangerous. If you are working with your hands a lot, you need to make sure you can still operate machinery as usual. Wearing gloves and suitable warm clothing and taking regular breaks, out of the cold with a hot drink.
Dressing in layers instead of a few thick clothing pieces, can help feeling more comfortable and reduce the risk of feeling the cold. The same goes for gloves, headwear and socks.
Paths and walkways may need gritting. Using the right grit and the right amount at the right time is essential. Wet soil and fallen leaves become a slip hazard that might end in a visit to the hospital and time off work.
Health conditions such as painful joints or arthritis may become more severe during winter. They can affect your productivity and overall well-being. Daily exercise can help and may prevent pain, and can also helps with sleep, feeing more energetic and focused and releasing stress.
People with existing heart diseases shouldn’t exercise too hard and know how to spot signs of a heart attack and how to react if showing symptoms.
Some people experience winter tiredness, which can make it much harder to get out of bed and causes you to feel tired during the day due to less sunlight. Less natural light means your brain produces less melatonin, which makes you feel tired.