Staying Warm Vital to Employee Safety Outdoors: WCB

By Sarah Klein

Snow Weather

With the deep freeze not releasing its grip of Southern Manitoba until at least the weekend, the Workers Compensation Board is encouraging employers and workers to prepare for work in extreme cold weather conditions in order to prevent cold stress.

“Cold stress,” says the Board, is the body’s inability to control its internal temperature.

“Cold temperatures, high or cold wind, immersion in low temperature water, physical exertion, and improper or inadequate clothing are some factors that put you at risk,” the WCB said in a release.

Through its SAFE Work campaign, the WCB says preventing cold stress can be achieved by the following:

  • Assess the weather conditions before heading out to the worksite and monitor yourself and your co-workers once there.
  • Wear layered, dry and insulated clothing with a windproof and waterproof outer shell.
  • Take warm up breaks in heated shelters. When the temperature is -7°C or lower, these shelters should be available nearby.
  • Stay hydrated with warm, sweet drinks.
  • Keep your body moving, but limit heavy work to avoid perspiration.

Environment Canada dropped its wind chill warning for the southern part of the province earlier on Tuesday.