How to Work Safely in Cold Storage
There are many safety aspects of working in and around cold storage that are important for both workers and employers to be aware of.
Like in any workplace, there are health and safety regulations in place to make sure no one gets injured or is put in harm’s way.
Working in a cold storage means exposure to extreme cold and this demands high physical and mental standards to work safely. One of the biggest challenges for those working in cold temperatures with heat loss from the body. This happens largely due to improper clothing.
What happens to the body in cold temperatures?
The body reacts to exposure to low temperatures in a number of ways. Initially, the effects are numbness in the fingers and toes and reduction in dexterity.
On average, the heat dissipated by a man in W/min varies according to the physical activity e.g. at rest 1.5, light work 2.5-3, moderate work 4.5-5 and hard work 8.
When the body shivers, the principal mechanism is to momentarily increase its metabolism, but a shivering worker becomes ineffective. When the heat losses are greater than the heat generation, the body temperature continues to fall and the physical responses of the body become slower and less effective. It is usually considered that the metabolism will decrease by 12 percent for every 1°C decrease of the body temperature.
Despite these risks, if work is conducted safely and within guidelines, workers are physically fit and have proper health checks, working in a low temperature environment is not hazardous to health.
For more information, click here for a great safety handbook on safe operation in cold storage facilities.
How to work safely
- The first thing to do, for both workers and employers, is making sure everyone is properly trained in workplace health and safety, particularly in cold storage environments.
- Make sure your health checks are up to date and you have proper clothing and equipment.
- If you’re unsure or notice anything risky, make sure you alert someone to it. One of the key things for safety in workplaces is making sure lines of communication are open.
- Know the safety standards of your workplace. This will help you to identify any hazards and be able to take precautionary measures.
- And lastly, if in doubt, make sure you ask for help.
If you need cold & dry storage services in Brisbane, contact us today.