Fatality Notice: IHSA has learned of two separate fatalities this week: One involved a millwright and the other a utility employee. One workplace fatality in any year is one too many, regardless of the sector, industry, or occupation. Please pause all work for a safety moment and re-establish a commitment to the prevention of injuries, illnesses, and fatalities.

Winter Hazards

The cold temperatures and icy conditions that are often a part of Canadian winters can cause hazards at the workplace. These hazards include:

  • Cold Stress—Exposure to the cold can lead to frostbite and hypothermia.
  • Hypothermia—The body can no longer maintain its core temperature, causing persistent shivering, confusion, and poor coordination.
  • Frostbite—Parts of the body are exposed to extremely cold temperatures or come into contact with cold objects, causing the tissues to freeze. Slips and falls—Ice, snow, slush, wet surfaces, and mud (during a thaw) can cause slips and falls. A slip on the ground can cost you weeks off work. A slip at height can cost you your life.
  • Carbon monoxide (CO)—Fuel-fired heaters can release CO gas. CO is a clear, colourless gas that you can’t smell or taste. It interferes with your body’s ability to use oxygen. Even in small doses, it can kill you.

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