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Cold Weather Work Habits and Personal Protection Equipment

Dec 07

Most of us have heard of cold-related illnesses such as frostbite, hypothermia, chilblains, and trench foot. All are illnesses related to cold stress. But the cold is insidious and works its way deep into the body where it indirectly causes cold-related problems.

Workers with chronic diseases such as asthma or arthritis are more likely to suffer flare-ups in cold weather.

Cold stress also decreases the worker’s dexterity, coordination, mental skills, and causes an overall decline in performance that negatively affects worker safety. Workers are more prone to accidents.

Also, working in the cold increases the likelihood of employee sprains and strains. This turns up as a health issue such as a low back strain. However, all muscles and tendons have less resistance to harm when exposed to cold weather.

What is Cold Stress?

Cold stress is the way your body responds cold temperatures stemming from heat escaping from part of your body, such as hands, limbs, feet, and/or head. When the body has prolonged contact with cold, lengthy exposure is a physical and mental challenge to your body.

Humans lose heat four ways:

  • Radiation
  • Convection
  • Conduction
  • Evaporation

The best way to avoid cold weather stress leading to cold weather illness or injury involves changing work habits and wearing the right clothing.

Changing Work Habits

How long an employee works in cold weather depends on wind and air temperature. The colder the temperature and the stronger the wind, the shorter work periods are. The following table, adopted by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) as Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) for cold stress is an excellent guide for management in establishing the length of a work period.

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Do Nonprofits Need Workers Compensation?

Feb 10

As an owner of a nonprofit, you spend most of your time trying to help others and make your community better. Your employees and volunteers help make your vision a reality, but they also need your protection. Depending on the goals of your nonprofit, your employees and volunteers could be exposed to some big risks. No one intends to get hurt, but when they do, it’s best to ensure you have the right coverage to help. Nonprofit workers compensation will help cover expenses for lawsuits and medical bills in the event an employee or volunteer has a work-related injury.

Having an adequate workers compensation policy for your nonprofit organization isn’t the only way to help protect your employees and volunteers. Below you will find some tips on additional ways you can protect them:

  • Provide training and materials on your safety for your industry.
    • First Aid Training
    • Proper Lifting Techniques
  • Invest in safety equipment and proper ergonomic furniture.
    • Repetitive motion and improper posture from poor furniture is a large cause for injuries in the office
    • Ensure your employees have access to proper protective equipment for their duties

Understanding who needs to be covered and what kind of coverage you need, depends on your nonprofit and your state laws. Contact us today to discuss workers compensation options available for your nonprofit.

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