Cold weather can be dangerous even if you’re not working outside. For workers in some industries that deal with snowstorms and other hazardous winter weather conditions, these problems can get especially bad. Cold weather means an increased risk of hand injuries, whether directly related to the cold or as a side effect that prevents workers from doing their jobs safely. These five tips will help you keep your hands healthy and safe when the weather outside is frightful.
Choose Gloves Designed for the Cold
Just because gloves are thick doesn’t mean that they’re designed for the cold weather and related hazards. You’ll need gloves that are designed to handle freezing, windy, and wet conditions to protect against cold-related health issues. Towa’s PowerGrab Thermo Insulated Glove is one great option, and so is the comparable MCR Safety Ninja Ice glove.
Have the Right Sizes in Stock
Like with all hand safety applications, gloves that fit properly are important for health and safety. Cold weather work gloves can’t properly protect against the cold, let alone other work hazards, if they don’t fit properly. Order gloves in a variety of sizes to ensure that everyone on your team has gloves that fit well and cover their hands completely. PK Safety can help you outfit your whole team with gloves; you can purchase dozens of pairs at a time in multiple sizes— contact us for more information.
Get a Grip on Tool Handling
Safety gloves should also allow you to perform the work that you need to do. Before you or your team get out on the field, run some tests with your tools and gloves to make sure that the gloves are comfortable and the tools remain easy and safe to use. Proper tool use prevents wrist and hand strain, and the right insulated work gloves can protect from cold-related injuries as well. Consider gloves that remain flexible and dexterous in the cold. Ensure that they are waterproof, have gripping power, and are comfortable to wear, like MCR Safety’s NXG Insulated Work Gloves.
Know When It’s Too Cold
Everyone on your team should be aware of the symptoms of frostbite, a cold-weather illness. If you feel less blood flow to your hands, numbness, or tingling, that could be a sign of trouble. Get out of the cold and take a break before things get too uncomfortable or worse.
Prepare for the Worst-Case Scenario
Unfortunately, accidents do happen. If there is a health issue on-site as a result of the cold, have medical equipment readily available to treat employees. Blankets and warm liquids are easy ways to raise body temperature. Keep a case of hand warmers or heat packs around to supplement the heat from the gloves as well. Don’t neglect your other safety needs, either: other industry hazards don’t go away just because it’s cold, so be prepared for anything.
Trust Your Workplace Safety Partners
PK Safety has been in the worksite safety business for over 70 years. Between all of our safety experts, we’ve personally worked in an array of industries, climates, and conditions. We vet every product that we sell, and our personal experience means that we look at each product as though we were going to use it on the field ourselves. For answers to your cold-weather or other safety questions, or to learn more about our products, contact a PK Safety expert online or call 800.829.9580.