Chilly weather adds time and effort to every activity—from how you dress to how you drive, from how you maintain your home and your place of business. Here are some timely tips to help bolster the safety and security of your employees during the cold, winter months.
COLD-WEATHER TIP #1—Eliminate All Slippery Surfaces
Moving about in the cold is challenging enough. Add to that the normal lifting, reaching, and other associated workday tasks with additional clothing and stiff fingers, and it’s more important than ever to walk on the dry ground throughout the day. Even the smallest of slippery spots can cause severe injury. So be sure to apply salt or sand on sidewalks, parking lots, aprons, break areas, and driveways.
Place a large floor mat at every entrance for employees to remove moisture, because wet shoes and boots leave puddles on hard surfaces. Easier to clean, right? Also, easier to slip and fall. So, keep floors free of moisture. Consider wearing footwear with non-slip soles, walk slower and take shorter steps so you can react to abrupt changes in traction.
Seem over the top? It’s not—you might be saving yourself or a fellow employee from a sudden slip and injury!
COLD-WEATHER TIP #2—Minimize Cold Stress
How often have you seen people working outdoors wearing a hoodie or even in short sleeves—while surrounded by snow flurries? It happens more often than it should. It should never happen - because actually, Cold Stress is a 'thing.' According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Cold Stress “occurs by driving down the skin temperature, and, eventually, the internal body temperature.”
When the body has difficulty warming itself, cold-related illness and injury can occur, including frostbite and hypothermia. These effects can magnify for employees with diabetes, hypothyroidism, or hypertension.
Help Avoid Cold Stress by Taking These Simple Steps:
- Dress for wintry weather by wearing loose layers (at least three) to help trap body heat—and wear a hat to protect your ears from frostbite.
- Wear insulated and water-resistant boots with thick soles to protect feet from the cold, moisture, and to maximize traction and stability on slippery or icy surfaces.
- Take breaks from the chilly weather throughout the day to remain warm and be sure to take wind chill temperature into account when working outdoors, because the wind chill temperature is the actual measure of the environmental effect on cold skin. For example—32 degrees Fahrenheit combined with a 15-mile-an-hour wind converts to a wind chill temperature of 16 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Keep an eye on your employees when they are outside and assign a “buddy” to do the same, with special emphasis on looking for signs of hypothermia and frostbite.
COLD-WEATHER TIP #3—Maintain a Warming Station
It’s one thing to get out of the cold. It’s quite another to counter the effects of Cold Stress. So, consider establishing a “Warming Station” for employees to take specific measures to warm up—especially if they are going back outside. A smaller room—or a tent if staged outdoors—equipped with a space heater, stocked with snacks and hot beverages and comfortable seating should be easy for any business to set up.
Other recommended measures include hand and foot warmers, fresh, dry replacement clothing—especially socks—and a timer to signal that it’s time to “warm-up!” Practice cold weather safety now to avoid skating on thin ice with your employees' health.
The Electric Guard Dog™ Fence Also Needs Protecting
If your property is surrounded by The Electric Guard Dog Fence by AMAROK, you already have in place the Ultimate Cold-Weather Tips (this blog you just read :-)), to protect your property from theft and vandalism. However, there are certain measures that you need to take before cold weather or the next big snowstorm seizes your property in order to keep The Electric Guard Dog Fence performing at its best. They are:
- Avoid plowing snow against The Electric Guard Dog Fence, because it could cause a voltage drop in the fence. To remove snow from the fence, AMAROK recommends using a broom rather than a shovel. Do this sooner rather than later. Waiting increases the accumulation of ice, which can result in voltage drops. The same applies to removing snow from the solar panels—keep the snow from accumulating by removing it early and often as possible.
- Maintain the integrity of the other security features that you have in place, including lighting, alarms, and cameras. Illuminate all areas of the perimeter and make sure that the day/night sensors are functioning. Make sure that you can arm or disarm the perimeter security alarm system. Trigger the alarms and confirm that your monitoring company receives the signal. Validate that all cameras are operational and free of drifting snow. Reposition them as needed, if, for example, you have moved valuable property out of camera range.
- And of course, continually inspect the integrity of The Electric Guard Dog Fence. Secure all gates with a sturdy chain and lock.
These easy-to-complete cold weather tips can help your employees maintain the vigilance required to stop crime before it occurs, which results in additional peace of mind for all involved.
For more information on staying safe in freezing weather, visit the Winter Weather Section on the OSHA website.
AMAROK™ is a full-perimeter security company based in Columbia, South Carolina, that provides commercial security services throughout the United States and Canada. Specializing in electric fencing and perimeter security systems for commercial properties, AMAROK also provides supplemental surveillance solutions, including cameras, lights, and alarms. Together, these business security services form the ultimate crime prevention solution for any business.