5 TIPS: DON’T GET BURNED WITH YOUR WINTER HEAT
BY GRAPHIC PRODUCTS STAFF
Published December 05, 2022minute read
Step up safety around supplemental heating sources.
As the weather cools down, workers need ways to heat up. Options include propane warming stations, space heaters, fireplaces, and wood or coal stoves. Each heating method represents a different set of hazards.
Every winter, supplemental heaters cause:
- 25,000 fires
- 300 deaths and 6,000 injuries from burns
- 150 carbon monoxide poisoning deaths
Workplaces can use simple best practices to protect workers from the weather. Here are 5 tips to reinforce heating safety and keep workers warm in the workplace – indoors and outside.
- Create Space: Make sure heating equipment has three feet of clearance and is on a level surface. Prevent fires by keeping clear of rugs, materials, electrical hazards, chemicals, and paper. Never leave space heaters and other heating devices unattended.
- Update Equipment: Throw out that open flame heater from 1967 and replace it. Have heating equipment professionally inspected and cleaned once a year.
- Plan and Train: Create a fire escape plan, set up a safe meeting place, and go over plans with workers. Test fire detection and suppression systems.
- Clear the Air: Increase efficiency for winter heating needs by having facility HVAC systems maintained by a professional. Clean filters save energy and improve air quality
- Layer on the PPE: It’s all about layers. Encourage the use of personal protective equipment that helps during the cold temperatures indoors and outside. Protect extremities using protective and high visibility fabrics.
- Deploy Signs and Labels: Remind workers to wear PPE. Mark shutoffs and safety measures. Highlight fire equipment and emergency stations. Post reminders to not overload outlets.
Workers must understand how to navigate seasonal changes. Aid in awareness and accident prevention by clearly communicating safe working expectations. Share reminders to reinforce those messages using signs, labels, and floor marking that can withstand the elements indoors and outside.