Winter has arrived and the temperatures are brutal, especially for those working outside. Single digit and below zero temperatures are very common in many parts of the U.S. and many face the challenge of keeping their lineman warm at outdoor and poorly heated work sites. During these times of extreme weather, follow these 8 tips for how utility lineman can prepare for winter storms.
- Wear the right clothing, and layer it well. Synthetic fibers are often best in extreme conditions. These fibers tend to wick away sweat before it can grow cold against you. Fleece manages to keep you warm, as does wool. Insulated coveralls may be a good investment for people working outside for long periods of time.
- Keep your head and neck well covered. Scarves are a good way to lock in heat. Helmet liners for hard hats made of fleece can also help add a layer of warmth.
- Choose appropriate gloves. Fabric and texture need to be suited for the job but try and find gloves with a liner that feature fleece and are water-resitant.
- Double layering your socks and wearing insulated or composite toe boots will help when walking or standing on cold surfaces.
- Wearing wrap –around eye protection can help preserve body heat.
- Staying hydrated during the winter is crucial for workers/lineman. Drinking warm water instead of cold will help keep body temperature up.
- Indulge in high fat foods. Foods high in fat give your body the fuel it needs to stay warm and alert.
- Investing in a safe space heater may be best for smaller work areas.
In addition to the above tips, hold a safety meeting for your workers/lineman that focuses on the dangers associated with working outside in the cold. Explain the signs and treatment of hypothermia and frostbite and instruct your employees to follow the appropriate procedures if they begin to experience any symptons. Remember to look over your gear and list of safety practices before heading outside. As always, stay safe and warm.