With the end of fall just around the corner, winter is about to set in. The winter months bring their own set of challenges and safety hazards because of increased weather hazards such as the increased risk of slipping due to ice build-up, freezing temperatures and the risk of snow build-up on worksites. We’ve compiled a list of 18 health and safety topics you can discuss with your workers to help them stay safe during winter.
Daily health and safety toolbox talks can help increase knowledge of the various hazards your team will be facing.
By incorporating the different safety subjects, one at a time, little and frequently, you can soon boost health and safety awareness amongst your team. When people know about the risks and control them, they can work safer. Here are 18 safety topics you can discuss throughout the winter.
Topics listed A-Z
- Clearing Snow: Discuss the safe and effective snow removal methods from job sites, including using appropriate equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE), such as snow blowers, shovels, and slip-resistant footwear.
- Cold Stress: Identify the signs and symptoms of cold stress, such as shivering, numbness, and confusion, and guide how to prevent it, such as dressing in layers, taking frequent breaks, and drinking warm liquids.
- Daylight Savings Time Starting Safety: Remind workers to adjust their sleep schedules to account for the change in daylight, as fatigue can increase the risk of accidents on the job site.
- Flu Prevention: Encourage workers to get a flu shot, stay home if they feel sick, cover their coughs and sneezes, and wash their hands regularly to prevent the spread of illness.
- Frigid Weather Safety: Discuss the risks associated with working in extremely cold temperatures, such as frostbite and hypothermia, and provide guidance on preventing these conditions, such as wearing appropriate clothing and staying dry.
- Frostbite: Explain the signs and symptoms of frostbite, such as white or grayish-yellow skin and numbness, and provide guidance on how to prevent it, such as wearing warm, dry clothing and avoiding exposure to cold temperatures.
- Frost Safety: Discuss the importance of frost safety when working with materials, such as concrete, that can be damaged by freezing temperatures, and provide guidance on protecting these materials from frost damage.
- Hypothermia: Explain the signs and symptoms of hypothermia, such as slurred speech and confusion, and guide how to prevent it, such as avoiding exposure to cold temperatures and wind and staying dry.
- Ice Storm Preparation: Discuss the risks associated with ice storms, such as downed power lines and slick roads, and provide guidance on preparing for them, such as stocking up on emergency supplies and staying informed about weather conditions.
- Preparing for Snow: Discuss the importance of preparing for snow, such as clearing walkways and using appropriate snow removal equipment, to prevent slip-and-fall accidents on the job site.
- Protection from the Winter Sun: Encourage workers to protect their skin and eyes from the sun's harmful rays by wearing sunscreen and sunglasses when working outside in the winter months.
- Snowplow Safety: Discuss the risks associated with operating snowplows, such as reduced visibility and slippery roads, and provide guidance on how to operate them safely, such as using caution and maintaining proper equipment maintenance.
- Staying Warm: Guide how to stay warm on the job site, such as dressing in layers, taking frequent breaks, and drinking warm liquids, to prevent cold stress and hypothermia.
- When to Take a Sick Day: Encourage workers to take a sick day when they feel unwell, to prevent the spread of illness and ensure that they are able to recover fully before returning to work.
- Windchill Safety: Explain the risks associated with windchills, such as the increased risk of frostbite and hypothermia, and guide how to protect oneself from these conditions, such as dressing in layers and staying dry.
- Winter Driving: Discuss the risks associated with winter driving, such as reduced visibility and slippery roads, and provide guidance on how to stay safe while driving in winter conditions, such as using snow tires and slowing down on icy roads.
- Winter Road Safety: Discuss the importance of road safety in winter conditions, such as clearing snow and ice from walkways and using appropriate signage and barriers to indicate hazardous conditions.
- Working in Icy Conditions: The toolbox talk should address the risks of working in icy conditions and guide how to prevent accidents such as slips and falls. This may include advice on appropriate footwear, ice melt or sand use, and reporting hazardous conditions.
Looking for more toolbox talk ideas for all seasons? We’ve got you covered. Check out our Ultimate Guide to Toolbox Talks.
Sign up below for our weekly newsletter with helpful safety content, including weekly toolbox talks!