toolbox talk

TOPIC: Cold weather working
Every day throughout the winter months, when we work outside, we have to deal with the harsh
winter environments day in and day out. No matter how cold the tv says it is, the reality of it is, the job
still needs to get done. Regardless of the amount of snow, freezing rain, or bone-chilling wind, we are
on the job and must do our best to complete our daily tasks. With that said there are ways to do this
Recognize that the workplace and environmental conditions have probably changed overnight and
may be dangerous
Keep all path ways, entrances, ramps, stairs and exits clear from snow and ice (Add salt or sand for
added traction)
Be cautious of ice and snow build-up overhead.
Conduct regular site inspections to ensure all guardrails, signage and obstructions are adequately
protecting workers.
Inform workers that with added winter gear on, there is a possibility of reduced vision and hearing
(Stress the fact they must stay aware of their surroundings)
Ensure all mobile equipment is inspected and has had ample time to warm up before operating and is
clear from snow and ice that may reduce visibility
Inform all operators to ensure the Blind Spots and circle checks are cconducted before attempting to
Learn the signs and symptoms of cold-induced illness and injuries and emergency first aid measures
Wear proper clothing for cold, wet and windy conditions, including layers that can be adjusted to
changing conditions. (Earmuffs, dry gloves, insulated coveralls, windproof winter jackets, toques, face
protection (Balaclavas) and appropriate footwear (Regular work boots can become saturated and
cause severe damage to feet very quickly in extreme temperatures.)
When working in extreme conditions, be sure to take frequent short breaks in a warm dry location to
allow the body to warm up. During lunch breaks it is recommended to remove all heavy outdoor
clothing to ensure your body temperature does not rise to quickly.
Use the buddy system – work in pairs so that one worker can recognize danger signs of cold induced
injuries or illnesses
Practice good housekeeping throughout the entire job and cover material with tarps for ease of access
Tarps placed over stacked lumber will decrease the amount of time spent clearing away snow and ice
and keep the material from potentially freezing together.
Avoid caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea, sodas or energy drinks. Although this is probably the first
thing someone wants because it is warm, it ultimately causes more harm than good.
Remember, workers face increased risks when they take certain medications, are in poor physical
condition or suffer from medical illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension or cardiovascular disease.
Assure your workers that they can come to the acting supervisor with any symptoms, signs or
concerns with no repercussion. (IT’S COLD OUTSIDE)
Ultimately we would enjoy working in 70 degree weather all the time but that’s not the case take all
the necessary precautions to protect yourself and your employees daily.
For more information on the signs and symptoms of cold-induced illnesses or injuries please refer to
the appropriate tool box talk
This toolbox talk has been reviewed with the following employees:
NAME (print)
Supervisor Name (Print)
Supervisor Signature