Tool Box Talks for the Week of Jan. 28- Feb. 1st

January 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

Happy Monday everyone.  Here are some more tips to help stay safe during this winter season.  Enjoy


Ice Storm Preparedness

Have you ever experienced an ice storm? This is a type of severe weather in which ice coats streets, sidewalks and power lines. It makes transportation extremely hazardous, and it can shut down the electrical power in an entire city, occasionally for days and weeks. Trees and power lines break and fall, sometimes crushing or electrocuting people in the way.

Preparedness is the key to getting through a winter storm with minimum danger and discomfort. So plan what you would do in a weather emergency.

How would you heat your home if the electricity went out? If you are thinking you would just wheel the barbecue indoors from the patio, stop right there. People die during winter storms when they try to use outdoor fuel-burning equipment indoors. The carbon monoxide created by burning fuel builds up in a poorly-ventilated area and can kill the occupants without warning. You should only use a heating device designed for indoor use.

You can keep your home warmer by closing off the rooms you don’t need to use and huddling in the warmest room with all the blankets you can round up. During previous ice storms, many families and their neighbours spent days like this.

What about light? If you’re thinking of candles, that’s another bad idea. Houses go up in flames during winter storms because of candles. Instead, make sure you have battery-operated lights, such as flashlights, and a good supply of batteries.

How about communication? Without electricity, your television, radio and computer won’t do much for you. You need to keep a battery-operated radio in your home for emergencies such as this. You also need a telephone that can be plugged directly into a telephone jack and which can operate without electricity. So if all you have are phones linked to cordless stations and answering machines, make sure you pick up a no-frills telephone to use in an emergency.

Supplies of clean drinking water and foods that can be eaten without cooking are important survival supplies in any season.

If you have special needs such as medicine, keep enough on hand to get you through a few days of being stuck at home or in a shelter.

Keep an eye on your neighbours, particularly those who are elderly, caring for young children or living alone. Weather extremes are hardest on the old, the young and those in poor health, so help them to stay warm, dry, fed and cared for.

Winter storms claim lives when people are trying to work in extraordinary circumstances. Shovelling snow or doing other heavy work in the cold weather can cause heart attacks for those in poor health or unaccustomed to such work. And operating chainsaws during disaster cleanup has proved fatal for persons without experience with these dangerous tools.

Tool Box Talk for the week of Jan. 21-Jan.25

January 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

Hello Out there,

Knowing how to be safe is important.  That is why we will be blogging a new Tool Box Talk every week.  These Talks will cover a variety of safety topics.


Getting Ready for Winter Work                                                            January 21 – January 25, 2013


Working outside in the winter can be a dirty job, but many of us have to do it. Are you ready for winter work? Here are some reminders about dressing for the weather and staying strong, healthy and safe:

  • Two big concerns of working or simply spending time outdoors in cold weather are frostbite and hypothermia. Both can occur at much higher temperatures than many people realize. For example, exposed skin can start to freeze at just 28 degrees Fahrenheit (-2 degrees Celsius) and deep frostbite can cause blood clots and even gangrene. Hypothermia is a potentially fatal condition caused by loss of body temperature, even in winter conditions people might not consider particularly nasty. Symptoms include fatigue, nausea, confusion, light-headedness and profuse sweating. Without medical treatment the victim can lose consciousness and die. Between 1979 and 1995, an average of 723 Americans died each year as the result of hypothermia.
  • Wear the right gloves for the work you are doing. Gloves should have enough insulation to keep you warm and prevent frostbite, but be thin enough so you can feel what you are doing if you are manipulating controls or tools. Gloves which are too thick can also make your hands and wrists work too hard trying to hold on to objects, causing repetitive strain injury.
  • Dress in layers of light-weight clothing which keep you warmer than a single layer of heavy clothes. Remove layers as necessary to prevent overheating and perspiring which can lead to chills or hypothermia later. Remember that wet clothing is 20 times less warm than dry clothing. Wear a hat and you’ll stay much warmer when working in cold conditions. As much as half your body heat can go up in steam off the top of a bare head. Protect your ears from frostbite as well by wearing a hat that will cover your ears, or use ear muffs.
  • While donning a scarf or muffler might help keep your neck warm in the cold weather, it could also kill you if you work near rotating machinery. Check your winter wardrobe for entanglement hazards such as loose sleeves and dangling drawstrings.
  • Keep your safety eyewear from fogging up in the cold. Investigate anti-fog coatings and wipes to see if these products are appropriate for your eyewear. If you have to keep taking off your safety eyewear because it fogs up, it isn’t protecting you.
  • Look at the soles of your winter footwear. Your shoes or boots should have adequate tread to prevent slips and falls on wet or icy surfaces. For extremely slippery situations, you can attach clogs or cleats to your footwear. Slow down when walking across slippery surfaces and be especially careful on ladders, platforms and stairways.
  • Eat winter-weight meals. This does not mean a high fat diet, but one with enough calories and nutrients to give you the fuel you need. Start with a breakfast of whole grain cereal and toast.
  • Get plenty of rest. Working in the cold and even traveling to and from work in the winter takes lots of energy. Cold weather can strain your heart, even if you aren’t overexerting yourself, so be sure to pace yourself when lifting heavy objects or shovelling snow.

Did you know that 70 per cent of deaths during snow or ice storms occur in vehicles? It pays to carry blankets or sleeping bags, matches, candles, a snow shovel and sandbags, a flashlight, and non-perishable food such as cereal bars, in case a winter storm sidelines you in your vehicle.