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5 ways to be prepared, avoid injuries in harsh winter weather

Winter weather conditions create a higher risk of workplace injuries, and those risks translate over to home as well.

As many people make plans for holiday travel and gatherings, we’ve been keeping our eye on the forecast, which may include frigid temperatures and snow or freezing rain across parts of Oregon.

“Winter weather conditions create a higher risk of workplace injuries, and those risks translate over to home as well,” says SAIF safety management consultant Sarah Cipriano. “It’s important to take steps to be prepared, identify possible risks, and eliminate the risks when possible.” 

Here are five pointers for staying safe as the temperatures drop.

Before there’s an emergency

While emergencies can happen in any weather, frigid temperatures are known to bring unexpected disasters and dangers. Are you prepared? If not, start now with our home, car, and work kit checklists, planning tools, and other resources at saif.com/prepare.

When the power goes out

Speaking of disasters—power outages can be widespread in extreme weather. We have the resources you need to prepare for them, what to do during an outage, and how to move forward.

When you’re on the road

It’s no secret that the holidays see some of the highest travel rates of the year. From checking road conditions before you go to testing your car’s battery to carrying quality snow chains, make sure you know how to stay safe while driving in extreme weather. Refer to our 10 tips for driving in extreme weather for additional help.

When you’re walking on slippery ground

Did you know slips, trips, and falls cause an average of 15% of all accidental deaths, second only to motor vehicles? There are ways to prevent these all-too-common injuries, including identifying and correcting hazards around the home and workplace. These tips and more can be found at saif.com/falls.

When you’ve been outside for a long time

Whether you’re working outside or taking a winter walk with the family, it’s important to know how to avoid the impacts of cold stress on the body. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has fast facts on how to prevent cold stress, including the symptoms of hypothermia, frostbite, and other illnesses.

“Following these tips can make a positive impact in helping everyone—co-workers, family, and friends—stay safe when the weather takes a turn,” Cipriano says. 

Find additional guidance and resources for keeping workers safe at saif.com/safetyandhealth.