Health and Safety Memo November 2019

Health and Safety Memo November 2019

Posted by:caragh.oneill
Health and Safety Training, Latest news

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Employers have a legal duty to protect employees from very cold temperatures during winter, as they can still have serious impacts. According to the law, the employer has a duty to determine what reasonable comfort will be in particular circumstances, but the approved code of practice suggests minimum temperature should normally be at least 16 degrees celsius.
Accidents increase during Winter for a number of reasons: there is less daylight, paths become wet and slippery and ice and snow build-up. There are effective actions that you can take to reduce the risk of a slip or trip. For further recommended information click here.

The cold can still impact health regardless of working indoors or outdoors, low temperatures can impact health:

  • Dehydration
  • Raynauds
  • Hypothermia
  • Painful Joints
  • Heart Attacks

The British Heart Foundation found that the risk of a heart attacked or stroke is doubled when the body is exposed to the cold for a prolonged period.

What can employers?

  • Monitor temperatures
  • Add additional heat if possible and have breaks in a well-heated building
  • Introduce job/task rotations
  • Consider a Health Surveillance program to ensure early detection of ill health

What can employees do?

  • Remove wet clothing as soon as possible and carry extra clothing
  • Wear plenty of layers including waterproof and windproof clothing
  • Wear warm, insulated protection on your head and feet
  • Avoid sitting still for long periods of time

If you would like more information about keeping safe this winter or other health and safety information, contact us today at [email protected] or by phoning 01 832 1493 / 028 9042 3222


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