Safely Crushing in the Cold
With the winter season in full swing, affected crusher crews should take the time to review cold weather safety protocol and recommendations in order to stay healthy on the job site. Medical conditions like hypothermia and its symptoms could lead to team member injuries as well as accidents with the crushing equipment itself.
Before venturing out onto the frigid crusher site, team members should ensure that they are appropriately dressed for cold to freezing temperatures in order to prevent serious medical conditions. It is recommended to dress in thick layers and to insulate the head, ears, and extremities like hands and feet to maximize heat retention.
In addition to covering up the body from the cold, it is equally important to prepare the body for low temperatures by adequately stretching. Working outdoors in the winter weather can tighten muscles and lead to strains more quickly. By warming up and stretching beforehand, team members can avoid pulling a muscle while operating their crusher.
When a crew is running a crusher in the cold and performing physical labor, the energy they spend while working is intensified by lower temperatures. The same task that is accomplished in warmer months may not be completed as quickly in the winter, and it can be easy for team members to overexert themselves. It is essential to slow down and take breaks.
Similarly, winter weather presents safety hazards like slippery crushing equipment and ice on site. It is crucial for team members to assess the ground around them as they move about the job in order to avoid slips and falls. Likewise, it is necessary to maintain a crusher from becoming slippery as a fall while operating this machinery could result in serious injury.
Crushing is best accomplished in dry conditions, but as the weather fluctuates between freezing and warmer temperatures, moisture and ponding may present itself. It is vital for crews to do their best to remain dry so as to avoid consequential medical conditions. Wet gloves or wet socks can quickly become hazardous, and it is critical to dry them promptly.
Team members should remain vigilant for signs of hypothermia and frostbite. Hypothermia can occur when the body is unable to produce heat faster than its temperature drops. Symptoms can include shivering, slow speech, shallow breathing, lack of coordination, etc. Hypothermia can also lead to frostbite which can cause permanent damage to the body if left untreated.
Remember, your crushing operation is only at its best when your team and equipment are at their best. The winter season can bring with it challenges and taking the appropriate precautions may slow production; but it is valuable to take the time to be prepared. By safeguarding against the cold, your team will remain up and crushing.
This article does not serve as an official safety recommendation by Eagle Crusher and should not be viewed as such. All relevant staff should consult their owner’s manual before operating Eagle Crusher equipment, or any other manufacturer’s equipment, and comply with the safety guidelines therein.
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