As the weather becomes "frightful" during winter months, workers who must brave the outdoor conditions face the occupational hazard of exposure to the cold. Prolonged exposure to freezing
temperatures can result in health problems as serious as trench foot, frostbite, and hypothermia. Workers need to be especially mindful of the weather, its effects on the body, proper prevention
techniques, and treatment of cold-related disorders.
Personal Protective Clothing
Perhaps the most important step in fighting the elements is providing adequate layers of insulation from them. Wear at least three layers of clothing:
- An outer layer to break the wind and allow some ventilation (like Gore-Tex® or nylon);
- A middle layer of wool or synthetic fabric to absorb sweat and retain insulation in a damp environment. Down is a useful lightweight insulator; however, it is ineffective once it becomes wet.
- An inner layer of cotton or synthetic weave to allow ventilation.
Pay special attention to protecting feet, hands, face and head. Up to 40 percent of body heat can be lost when the head is exposed. Footgear should be insulated to protect against cold and dampness. Keep a change of clothing available in case work garments become wet.
Engineering Controls in the workplace through a variety of practices help reduce the risk of cold-related injuries.
- Use an on-site source of heat, such as air jets, radiant heaters, or contact warm plates.
- Shield work areas from drafty or windy conditions.
- Provide a heated shelter for employees who experience prolonged exposure to equivalent wind-chill temperatures of 20°F (-6°C) or less.
- Use thermal insulating material on equipment handles when temperatures drop below 30°F (-1°C).
Safe Work Practices, such as changes in work schedules and practices, are necessary to combat the effects of exceedingly cold weather.
- Allow a period of adjustment to the cold before embarking on a full work schedule.
- Always permit employees to set their own pace and take extra work breaks when needed.
- Reduce, as much as possible, the number of activities performed outdoors. When employees must brave the cold, select the warmest hours of the day and minimize activities that reduce circulation.
- Ensure that employees remain hydrated.
- Establish a buddy system for working outdoors.
- Educate employees to the symptoms of cold-related stresses -- heavy shivering, uncomfortable coldness, severe fatigue, drowsiness, or euphoria.
Safety Reminders – Knowing the facts on cold exposure can help ensure that this season is a safe and healthy one.
“Merry Christmas” everyone. Christmas is here in a few short days and there are lots of activities going on which can act as distractions to our work. “Did that present we order arrive on time?” “Did we forget to invite anyone to Christmas dinner?” “What was I supposed to bring to that Christmas party?”
It is a challenge to stay focused at work during this time of year. So, this is when it is especially important to take four seconds for safety. When you find yourself working away and your thoughts running wild with all the plans and activities of Christmas, STOP, take those four short seconds to look around and come back to the present moment. Look for a hazard in the middle of your activity. Are you standing on a ladder? Are you in an awkward position or about to trip on something lying on the floor? Hazards do not go away. Only our awareness of the hazards goes away. And when we ignore hazards, we tend to get injured.
Christmas injuries tend put extra stress on everyone. Imagine yourself sitting around the Christmas table in a leg cast because you fell off a ladder or tripped over something. Unfortunately, these stories are more common than all of us might admit. Injuries at Christmas seem to magnify how many people are affected by an injury to one person. How many people count on you each day to come home safely? If you add them all up you might be surprised.
Taking four seconds for safety may seem unimportant to you yet it is the one activity, the one action you might take during a busy and distracted day which will have the most benefit in keeping you safe. Think of it as your Christmas present to yourself. In fact, you can think of each of those people who would be affected by an injury to you every time you take four seconds to refocus.
Think about this when you are about to drive away to some gathering this Christmas. The noise, the excitement, the distraction! Take a moment, take a big breath, count slowly to four, then drive away. Chances are that you will arrive safely once you focus for those four seconds.
Again, “Merry Christmas” to everyone. May the Blessings of this season warm the hearts of you and your families.
The 105th parking deck on Cleveland Clinic’s Campus was
recently completed with Donley’s providing concrete services and serving as the Design Build. Encompassing an entire city block, the parking deck is located on
the southeast corner of the Cleveland Clinic’s Main Campus. With the
development of the Opportunity Corridor along East 105th Street, the parking
deck serves as an icon and introduction to the campus at its southern portal.
The garage is currently only for employees with the possibility of it being
converted to both a patient and employee deck in the future.
The façade of the deck utilizes a combination of concrete guard
and vehicular crash rails, upturned beams, storefront glazing, and custom grilles.
The exterior appearance utilizes white and metallic materials to keep a
cohesive look with the rest of the buildings on Cleveland Clinic’s campus. An
expansive elevator lobby, clad in glass curtainwall, houses four elevators and
stairwell located on the northwest corner of the building. The remaining three corners are stair towers clad in
glass curtainwall. The stairs are set back 18” from the wall, creating the
illusion of stairs floating in a glass structure. Furthering employee optimization, this deck also has a pedestrian bridge on the third level that provides a safe route for Cleveland Clinic employees as they cross the highly trafficked 105th Street.
Beyond the normal scope of work, Donley's was asked to paint the entire interior of the deck as well as widen East 106th Street after the GMP was established. Even with the additional work, the project was completed ahead of the original scheduled completion date. The entire team's cooperation and shared goals were essential in the parking deck's early completion and successful delivery.
site in the heart of Durham, consolidates all police functions currently housed
in multiple locations throughout the city. The structure will provide a secure
parking deck as well as provide space for all police and emergency 911
functions be in the same building. Donley’s provided concrete contractor services
and fulfilled the role of Construction Manager for this project. Its success is
due to the collaboration of all team members, the utilization of the team’s
industry expertise, and a passion to get the job done right.
Many of the
challenges on this project involved mother nature. Extremely wet conditions,
including rain and snow challenged the team, causing them to work on the
weekends to stay on schedule. To work around these challenges, collaboration
and coordination became even more critical. The team held weekly meetings, and
regular project schedule updates. With safety at the forefront of Donley’s
culture, we also completed extra safety projects to ensure that everyone on the
project could work safely.
all these challenges, Donley’s completed our scope of work, allowing the
project to successfully be delivered to the City of Durham.
A beautifully decorated Christmas tree, a warm space heater and fragrant candles burning are great ways to enjoy your home during the holidays, but they can be dangerous if not used properly.
The risk of home fires typically increases in the U.S. around the winter holidays. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, 30 percent of home structure fires and 38 percent of home fire deaths occur between December and February.
Christmas trees, decorative lights, and candles are among the leading causes of home fires. University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital and Safe Kids Greater Cleveland offer these guidelines for keeping homes and families safe.
- Keep matches, lighters and other fire sources out of children's reach.
- Keep clothing, furniture, newspapers or anything flammable at least three feet from a fireplace, heater or radiator.
- Turn off all portable heaters when you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Follow instructions for extension cords and do not overload.
- Have heating equipment and chimneys inspected and cleaned every year.
- Ensure all decorations are nonflammable or flame-retardant and kept away from heat sources.
- Do not burn wrapping paper or other packaging in the fireplace.
- Candles should only be used under adult supervision and kept out of reach of children.
- They should be placed where they cannot easily be knocked over. Candles should never be left unattended.
- A live tree should be watered daily and only used until it dries out, usually two weeks or less.
- If using an artificial tree, make sure it is flame retardant.
- Check lights for frayed wires, bare spots, broken or cracked parts, or excessive wear, and follow all instructions that accompany holiday lights.
- Never leave holiday lights on unattended and check frequently to ensure they are not becoming too hot.
- Keep all cords out of reach of children. When using lights outdoors, make sure the lights have been certified for outdoor use.
SAFETY REMINDERS - NO MATTER WHAT THE SEASON, MAKE SURE ALL HOME HEATING EQUIPMENT AND SMOKE ALARMS ARE WORKING PROPERLY!
It's that time of the year again when driving can be treacherous. Many accidents could be avoided if drivers took time to learn and practice these tips for driving safely during snowy and icy conditions.
Perhaps the deadliest danger of all is "black ice." Black ice is ice which forms on a roadway, usually due to snow melting and re-freezing. Since it is almost invisible, drivers fail to recognize black ice conditions and may drive at normal speeds-often resulting in very serious accidents. Always be alert to the possibility of black ice when temperatures are near or below freezing. Pavement that looks dry but appears darker in color and dull-looking should alert you to the presence of black ice.
Failing to allow yourself enough time to stop is a major cause of winter driving accidents. During slippery conditions stopping distances can triple. Driving at a slower speed, anticipating stops at traffic lights and intersections, and applying brakes sooner than normal will help ensure accident-free stops.
Acceleration, turning, and passing also present dangers during winter. Again, leave extra space between yourself and other vehicles so there's room to maneuver in case something goes wrong. During a skid, steer cautiously in the direction you want the car to go. REMEMBER KEEP YOUR WINDOWS CLEAR.
The best advice for driving in bad winter weather is not to drive at all, if you can avoid it. Don't go out until the snow plows and sanding trucks have had a chance to do their work, and allow yourself extra time to reach your destination. If you must drive in snowy conditions, make sure your car is prepared and that you know how to handle road conditions.
Safe Driving Tips For This Winter
- Bridges and overpasses freeze first, so always slow down and avoid sudden changes in speed or direction.
- To make antilock brakes work correctly, apply constant, firm pressure to the pedal. During an emergency stop, push the brake pedal all the way to the floor, if necessary, even in wet or icy conditions.
- If you get stuck, do not spin your wheels. This will only dig you in deeper. Turn your wheels from side to side a few times to push snow out of the way. Use a light touch on the gas, to ease your car out. Use a shovel to clear snow away from the wheels and the underside of the car and wheels, to help get traction. Try rocking the vehicle by slowly shifting from forward to reverse, and back again. - In addition, if you are driving long distances under cold, snowy, and icy conditions, you should also carry supplies to keep you warm such as heavy woolen mittens, socks, a cap and blankets.
- If you become stranded, do not leave your car unless you know exactly where you are, how far it is to possible help, and are certain you will improve your situation.
- To attract attention, light two flares and place one at each end of the car a safe distance away. Hang a brightly colored cloth from your antenna.
- If you are sure the car's exhaust pipe is not blocked, run the engine and heater for about 10 minutes every hour or so depending upon the amount of gas in the tank.
- Keep at least one window open slightly as heavy snow and ice can seal a car shut.
SAFETY REMINDERS - BAD WEATHER DOESN'T CAUSE ACCIDENTS, BAD DRIVING DOES.