Cold environments bring with them their own set of health and safety issues, and working within them means that you may be more susceptible to illness and injury that is associated with the cold. We believe that health and safety should be at the core of all cold store practices, and the following four points are some of the most important things to remember.
This is not something that often occurs in cold stores, but it is worth keeping in mind that a failure to look after health and safety could result in a serious health problem. To avoid hypothermia, ensure that you or your staff members are wearing the right clothing for the environment that you are in, and that you keep well hydrated. It’s also important to keep optimised blood flow in your extremities to reduce the risk of hypothermia, and things like cutting out alcohol or cigarettes can really help with this. Another way to avoid circulatory issues is to wear the right sized clothing, as too tight clothing can reduce blood flow to the arms and legs. Moreover, if clothing is too big or loose then its insulating benefits for the wearer will not be maximised. Items such as our X120 chiller trousers are light and flexible, offering a great fit that is not too tight, and not too loose.
2. Avoiding Freezing Injuries.
The most obvious injuries that you should try and avoid are those associated with the extreme cold in your workplace. Freezing injuries include frost bite and damage to the skin when it comes into contact with the cold. To avoid this, the right clothing should be worn at all times, and skin should not be left exposed to the elements. Hands are one of the places where freezing injuries are most common because people can sometimes find gloves cumbersome and remove them. Our Endurance 690c gloves are one great way around this problem as they are ergonomically designed so offer optimum comfort and warmth, as well as superb grip.
3. Reducing Risk from Chronic Injuries or Conditions.
Some existing medical issues can be exacerbated by the cold. For example, arthritis, asthma, and skin complaints can all be adversely affected by low temperatures. If employees suffer from chronic conditions then they must bring this to the attention of their manager, as they may need to ensure that the employee in question is able to work in such an environment, and may need to put special measures in place to ensure the health and safety of the affected team member.
4. Keep an Eye Out.
In cold environments it’s important to pay attention to how you, and the people around you, are feeling. If you start to feel cold, thirsty, or ill in any way, then it’s time to take a break and look after yourself. Additionally, make sure that you look after your colleagues, and develop a culture of healing and supporting each other so that if someone needs a break from the cold, they can take it.