by J. Racenstein, www.JRacenstein.com
For some, the foremost objective of cleaning in cold weather may be to clean effectively. But cleaning effectively should never mean sacrificing safety to accomplish a speedy completion of tasks.
Preventing hypothermia, frostbite, dehydration and other ailments cold weather can cause are all extremely important elements of “cleaning effectively” in winter conditions. The age-old adage that says “all injuries are preventable” can be applied accurately to cold weather injuries also. Aside from staying actively moving while working, eating properly, staying dry, getting plenty of rest and staying hydrated, it is also wise to take extraordinary precautions you normally would not consider while cleaning outdoors.
• Taking extra time to place ladders properly to prevent slipping on ice or snow.
• Being extra aware of how you are feeling and keeping a good eye on your co-worker(s) for signs of cold weather ailments.
• Taking more breaks than normal and seeking a warm place to do so.
• Immediately changing any clothing that becomes wet to prevent cold weather injury.
• Wearing sunglasses to help prevent snow blindness.
• Keeping exposed skin to minimum to help keep the body warm.
In the end, prior planning and education is the best course of action to be able to clean effectively in cold weather. Plan to drink plenty of water the day before. Get plenty of rest. Read to understand the symptoms of each ailment so you can prevent catastrophe.
“Cleaning effectively” in cold weather is to take all precautions for the well being of the cleaner while getting the job done simultaneously.
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