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Working In Extreme Environments

Heat, Cold, Wind, Rain, Sunshine, Darkness.

A stiff wind, especially when coupled with chilly, wet or frigid
winter temperatures, increases the misery factor sometimes
associated with working outdoors.
Brilliant sunshine, reflective glare from white or light colored
objects such as buildings, snow, water can reflect harmful UV
radiation onto your exposed skin and eyes.
Darkness in and around our work areas also carries its own
unique set of hazards that need to be identified and anticipated
in advance.
But the extreme weather conditions we sometimes work in can
be much more than an annoyance. They can actually have life-threatening
consequences, ranging from an increased risk for
hypothermia and frostbite to heat stress and heat stroke to the
possibility of being blown off a roof while working at heights, or
causing eye damage and the possibility of developing various
skin cancers.
Make Environmental Conditions Planning a part of your regular
pre-task planning to anticipate extreme conditions, and be able
to adapt to them and complete your tasks safely. Make sure
that your JHA includes these points:
1. What could the environmental conditions be at the time the
work will be scheduled? Optimal/ Inclement?
2. If Inclement conditions are a good possibility, then make
sure that you plan for and inspect for these items:

  • Temperature conditions of the work area.
  • Wind conditions of the work area.
  • Transportation of materials & supplies to and from the work area.
  • Structural and work platform integrity in the work area.
  • Protection of workers and bystanders from loose materials/ flying debris.
  • Fall protection in the work area.

Also, need to guard against frostbite and
hypothermia, a potentially fatal drop in the body’s internal temperature.
The risk for hypothermia and frostbite
increases under cold/ wet/ windy conditions.

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