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Winter's more than just cold; it increases your risk of workplace disasters too

by , 23 June 2014
Have you ever been so cold, to the point of uncomfortably cold, that you can't concentrate properly?

Now think about your poor employees working outside in this freezing weather... they're probably more interested in getting their hands warm than working safely.

And this can be a hazard... especially if he's holding a hammer or a drill.

But what can you do about it?

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Your 1 527 health and safety duties as an employer
 
When was the last time you checked what disinfecting agents and cleaning materials your company uses? 
Do you comply with the Hazardous Chemical Regulations? 
 
There are over 1 500 items you must evaluate in your workplace according to the OHS Act and hundreds more from SABS 0400: National Building regulations. 
 
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It's hard for your employees to work safely when they're cold

 
Picture your employee working with a power drill. Now picture him using it with one hand so he can blow on the other hand to warm it up.
 
You see, if your employees are cold they may just do things like this to keep warm, whether it's safe or not. This is when workplace accidents start becoming more common. 
 
So rather help them keep warm in safer ways. For example, consider letting your employees start work a bit later. 
 
Once the sun is up and the day is a bit warmer, your employees won't have to do as much to keep warm.
 
But you can also give them some warmer workwear too.
 

PPE can actually help your employees stay warm

 
If your employees work in the extreme elements, like the cold, it's your responsibility to give them protective clothing. 
 
Ensure your employees have safety boots and gloves that won't just protect their hands and feet but will keep them warm too. 
 
You need to protect your employees, from the cold and themselves, so ensure they're warm and working safely. 
 
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