Risk prevention should be systematic in working places. Prevention of cold related risks has three steps: 1) Recognition of cold risks: how aware the personnel is about the cold risks? 2) Assessment of cold risks and 3) Management of the cold risks, which include planning of the work, technical preventive measures, protective clothing (including personal protective equipment), training & information and occupational health care actions. Responsible person(s) should be nominated and the problems, preventive actions and follow-up should be documented.
In the planning of the work the difficulties caused by cold should be recognized and the work processes should be planned so that the difficulties can be avoided, whenever possible.
In the technical preventive measures the tools, equipment and machinery should be checked that they are planned for the use in cold, they work properly, and they do not cause additional cold risk e.g. by contact cooling, vibration or difficulties in the handling with winter gloves or mittens. Shelters against wind and snow should be constructed when possible. Slippery surfaces should be recognized and taken care of. In the darkness of winter the lighting in working places should be optimal and when there is a need to work in heights, the ladders and surfaces should be constructed so that the risk of falling or slipping is recognized and taken care. Fall arrest equipment should be used when working in heights.
Climbing into the truck
Primary personal preventive method against cold is protective clothing, which has to provide protection against cold, windy and damp conditions. The optimum protective work wear must be selected based on the ambient conditions and physical activity. Important parameters of clothing are thermal insulation, water vapour permeability, air permeability and resistance to water. The maintenance of the clothing is important: clothing should be dried before the next use and dirty clothing should be cleaned or replaced to avoid contamination and assure maximal protection.
In mining work personal protective equipment (PPE), such as protective clothing, helmet, protective shoes, hearing and eye protector, are necessary. Respirator is needed to use in tasks where dust or gas are existing. All necessary PPE should be possible to use at same time and therefore their compatibility should be optimal.
A truck Boliden AB, Aitik Mine