With winter quickly approaching, it’s important to be up-to-speed with common, cold-related, illnesses and injuries and the preventative measures that can be taken. We’ve assembled a list of quick tips and takeaways to keep you one step ahead of the cold this winter.
- Update Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) with the colder weather in mind. It’s important to consider the health of employees and coworkers. Make it a priority to ensure that workers are wearing weather-appropriate gear and clothing to protect their health and well-being.
- Energy level is an important factor to consider in the winter. Workers can reduce fatigue by limiting activities which create heavy sweating and/or reduce circulation. Also, keeping water and warm fluid available to workers can prevent dehydration and boost energy.
- Encourage workers to regularly exercise. While regularly exercising is an individual choice, the habit can boost the immune system so it can’t hurt to remind employees/coworkers of this fact.
- Encourage coworkers/employees to avoid touching their face during the flu season. People who occasionally touch their eyes and nose are more likely to develop frequent upper respiratory infections than hands-off folks, according to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Occupational Health.
- Also, encourage workers to avoid smoking if possible and to prioritize getting sufficient sleep. Both smoking and lack of sleep increases one’s risk of catching cold-related illnesses.
- Enacting a buddy system is a great procedure to use to ensure each employee is monitored for health/well-being issues.
- Keep health-related reminders clear and visible to employees, such as: “Wash Hands” or “Warning: Authorized Personnel Only.” Signs and markings are helpful when communicating potential hazards to workers.
- Clearly communicate emergency procedures to workers and regularly practice/remind workers of said procedures.
- Keep areas clear: make sure pathways, work areas and stairways are clear from unnecessary items that could create injury.
- Improve lowly lit areas. Clearly highlight areas that are difficult to see in darker conditions. Light pathways, entries, low-clearance ceilings and other lowly lit areas. Reflective lights can be useful when considering dimly-lit work areas.
- Apply tread tapes to areas with a tendency to ice or are slippery, such as: stairs, doorways, ramps, handrails and other high-risk areas.
- Label areas that are hazardous in icy or cold conditions by inserting signs or labels to areas predisposition-ed to create slips, trips and falls. Examples of problem areas are door entries, parking lots and staircases.
We hope these tips may keep you safe and healthy this winter!