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					Safe Work Practices

                       COLD WEATHER OPERATIONS

The purpose of this policy is to provide a reference checklist for cold weather operations.
Any person in good physical condition can work productively for extended periods of
time under the most severe and varying cold weather conditions. Cold and its associated
problems affect operations but do not stop a person from functioning if the individual
understands how to cope with them.

One of the most important things to consider is that in all cases, extreme cold indicates
that additional time will be required to complete a job assignment safely, and such time
must be taken into consideration when planning a job.

Effect of Cold Weather:

The principal adverse effect of cold is a lowering of body temperature below the normal
37 degree C. When the body temperature falls below 34 degrees C, the victim may
become disoriented and lapse into a coma. Heart failure and death can result if the body
temperature falls below 27 degrees C.

Frostbite is an injury caused by the freezing of the body tissues and can occur when
extremeties do not receive sufficient heat from the central part of the body because of
restricted blood circulation or inadequate insulation.

Whenever a victim of frostbite is treated, care must be exercised to prevent the possibility
of refreezing.

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Working in Winter:

Cold weather presents additional hazards during winter operations, but with awareness
and good planning, injuries can be avoided.

Do not engage controls of equipment when visibility is restricted by steam or snow. The
accumulation of snow and ice on walkways and work areas can become a hazard, so more
care must be taken.

Exercise care when handling diesel fuel, alcohol, and gasoline during cold weather
operations; the cold burn resulting from saturated clothing due to spillage can be severe.

Remember to always dress for the weather. A daily change to clean, dry socks will help
prevent frostbite to your feet. Winter conditions will require a liner in your hard hat. Wet
gloves will quickly freeze your hands, therefore, you should keep a dry pair handy.
You should have sunglasses available for working in bright sunlight with snow cover. If
there is a possibility that you may get your outer clothing wet, you should take an extra
set of clothing into the field with you.

Employees working together should advise each other if a patch of skin starts to freeze.
The affected area will visibly turn white. On sunny days, the white snow intensifies the
sun’s rays and a sunburn is possible.

Ice Safety Procedures:

When working on ice, strict attention must be paid to the thickness and quality of the ice.
An ice auger will be used to check the ice before a project begins, but all employees must
pay careful attention to the area they are driving on. All vehicles will travel only on
previously checked ice and will not take any shortcuts.

When possible, all vehicles and equipment should go around beaver dams. If they must
be crossed, extreme casution must be used, strict attention must be paid to weather
conditions and the time of the year.

Vehicles and equipment travelling on the ice cause motion below the ice and can cause
problems if a thin patch of ice is encountered. Maximum recommended speed limit is
15 km per hour when driving on the ice.

When ever possible vehicles should work in pairs within sight of each other. Do not park
units close together when on the ice.
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Wind Chill Factor:

The Wind chill factor is a better indicator of winter weather than either temperature or
wind speed alone. A cold, calm, winter day often seems much milder than a warmer
winter day with a strong wind.

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