As we enter into December we’ve seen a distinct shift from the cold to the extremely chilly, with frost laying on the grounds most mornings the HSE has issued a reminder in one of their newsletters that we should remember health and safety issues over the festive period.
Cold environments can have a particular effect on the risks involved in certain work meaning that the usual precautions taken aren’t enough to cancel out the prospective risk. The HSE advise the following when it comes to managing work in cold environments:
- Make sure each person is wearing the correct personal protective equipment
- Provide suitable facilities to enable workers to ‘warm up’ and encourage the consumption of warm fluids
- Add more frequent rest breaks into the working day
- Consider whether work can be delayed and undertaken at warmer times of the year, to counter the increased safety risks
- Educate workers about recognising the early symptoms of cold stress
These points once again highlight the importance of health and safety training and how, if correctly trained, it will help employees to identify and adapt their health and safety systems to consider the environmental conditions.
Other seasonal health and safety advice has also been issued. Often, many manufacturing operations and construction sites shut down over the Christmas period, which can cause a potential health and safety risk. Contractors should carry out checks before leaving the site to ensure that all loose material is secure and scaffolding is properly supported. In periods of particularly bad weather or closure for a significant length of time, the site should also be checked periodically over the holidays.
Finally contractors should also prevent the entry of the general public to the site, particularly if there are potentially dangerous areas.
If you’re looking to update your health and safety training and want to find out how our courses can increase the safety of your workplace or how you can meet legislative requirements contact one of our team today on 0800 0149016.