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OSHA Offers Cold Weather Resources

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Anyone working in a cold environment may be at risk of cold stress. Some workers may be required to work outdoors in cold environments and for extended periods, for example, snow cleanup crews, sanitation workers, police/security officers, emergency response and recovery personnel, or manufacturing workers doing outdoor maintenance or managing outdoor resources. 

OSHA requires employers to comply with hazard-specific safety and health standards, including cold environments. To that end, OSHA has compiled resources and guidelines—including Emergency Preparedness Guides—to help companies protect workers from winter storms and related hazards such as cold stress and snow removal.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) requires employers to comply with hazard-specific safety and health standards. In addition, pursuant to Section 5(a)(1) of the OSH Act, employers must provide their employees with a workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm. Emergency Preparedness Guides do not and cannot enlarge or diminish an employer's obligations under the OSH Act.

Emergency Preparedness Guides are based on presently available information, as well as current occupational safety and health provisions and standards. The procedures and practices discussed in Emergency Preparedness Guides may need to be modified when additional, relevant information becomes available or when OSH Act standards are promulgated or modified.

For guidelines and other resources, visit osha.gov or use this direct link: https://www.osha.gov/dts/weather/winter_weather/beprepared.html


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