Winter Weather Safety
To Report Hazardous Conditions – Call UWPD at 920-424-1212
Snow Shoveling Safety Tips
Prepare: Warm up with five minutes of light exercise, such as walking. Gentle stretching is also beneficial before shoveling.
Dress warmly: Wear several loose layers of warm clothing as well as hats, scarves, boots, and gloves.
Take it slow: Pace yourself, don’t rush. When you can, push the snow rather than lifting. If possible, utilize a smaller shovel to make lifting easier on your back and arms. If you feel winded, take a short break, and rehydrate.
Use proper body mechanics: Lift with your legs to prevent back injuries. Do not twist at the waist when tossing snow to the side. Move your feet, not your waist. Keep your nose between your toes!
Proper footwear: Wear boots/shoes that will prevent slips and falls; you can use your slip-on ice cleats to add traction. Spread salt/sand to help with traction control.
Listen to your body: If you feel muscle pain, take a break, and rest your body while warming up. Inform your supervisor. Stay alert for chest pain or pressure which are possible signs of heart attack and call 911 immediately.
Space Heater Safety
No matter what type of portable heater you use, Association of Home Applicance Manufacturers (AHAM) recommends the following safety tips:
- Read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels before using your portable electric heater.
- DO NOT leave operating heater unattended and always unplug heater when not in use.
- DO NOT use your heater with a power strip or extension cord. Overheating of a power strip or extension cord could result in a fire.
- String out cords on top of area rugs or carpeting. Placing anything, including furniture, on top of the cord may damage it.
- Keep combustible materials, such as furniture, pillows, bedding, papers, clothes and curtains at least three feet from the front of the heater and away from the sides and rear. DO NOT block heater’s air intake or exhaust source.
Frostbite is caused by the freezing of the skin and tissues. Frostbite can cause permanent damage to the body, and in severe cases can lead to amputation.
Symptoms include development of gray/white patches on the cold, red skin of fingers, toes, nose, or ear lobes; tingling, aching, a loss of feeling, firm/hard, and blisters may occur in the affected areas.
- Get into a warm environment!
- Protect the frostbitten area, e.g., by wrapping loosely in a dry cloth and protect the area from contact until medical help arrives.
- DO NOT rub the affected area, because rubbing causes damage to the skin and tissue.
- Do not apply snow or water. Do not break blisters.
- DO NOT try to warm the frostbitten area before getting medical help. If a frostbitten area is warmed and gets frozen again, more tissue damage will occur. It is safer for the frostbitten area to be warmed by medical professionals.
- Give warm sweetened drinks if alert (no alcohol).
- Please, please wipe your wet feet on rugs provided. Just walking across the rugs doesn’t adequately dry your shoes, so floors become wet and slippery. It’s bad enough falling outside; let’s try to avoid it inside!
- Remember to use three points of contact (two hands and one foot or one hand and two feet) when exiting or entering your vehicle. This gives you something to hold on to or stabilize yourself when the ground surface is slippery.
- Your chances of suffering an injury increase if you are carrying something in your hands (purse, lunch bag, laptop bag). Consider using a backpack to keep hands free to help with balance.
These two brands of soles have new ice-grip technology. Look for these brand names when purchasing winter boots. Vibram Arctic Grip and Green Diamond. These rubber soles contain binding agents and shavings of fiberglass or quartz that increase grip on icy surfaces.
Some boot brand names to look for are Sperry, Wind River, Merrell, and Hush Puppy. Some of these brands have Vibram or Green Diamond soles. The Vibram logo is a bright yellow octogan. The Green Diamond logo is a two-lane highway winding around a green diamond.