Last edited 11 Jan 2018

Winter blues

Outdoor work can be hazardous - even with appropriate health and safety policies and risk assessments - if employees do not understand the risks and receive appropriate training to manage their own PPE responsibilities, then they may be putting themselves at increased risk.

Low sunlight in winter can disrupt sleep and waking cycles, causing undue fatigue. Lower sunlight levels cause the brain to produce more melatonin, a hormone with soporific effects - linked to light and dark. Furthermore, if it’s cold, the body’s effort to keep itself warm can exhaust the body much faster than in a neutral environment. Darker evenings combined with rain and sometimes fog can also impair worker’s vision when driving. Drivers should use headlights.

All workers should be careful in darker, wet conditions. It’s important to wear hi-vis clothing to increase visibility, especially near roadways.

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