Welcome to the Feb-brrr-uary edition of Health & Safety International magazine.
It’s that time of year again when office thermostats come into contention and we furiously search online for “minimum legal working temperatures” to no avail, as alas the HSE has mere guidelines in place on the matter, not binding laws.
Yet if you’re feeling chilly, spare a thought for those in the Yakutia region of Siberia, where the Siberian Times reported temperatures this year to have already dropped to -62ºC.
Having been in the last few months to what, at the time, felt like some of the coldest places in Europe – an altitude of 3,842m atop France’s Aguille du Midi coming in as the nippiest at a bitter -26ºC with chill factor – I cannot begin to imagine what it would be like to have to work in these temperatures.
There’s no denying the idyllic beauty of a snow dusted winter vista, but there’s little to romanticise when it comes to the realities of working in such extremes of cold. Fortunately, Phil La Duke’s ‘arcticle’ comprehensively details how to avoid the perils of working in the cold. From frostbitten extremities to slips on the ice, Phil provides solutions to all your winter working woes!
Once you’ve defrosted, this edition also features riveting reads on height safety, ergonomic gloves certification, emergency chemical procedures, lessons to learn from gas detection accidents, and how to stay protected from respiratory diseases.
So come on in from the tundra, get warm with a cup of something hot and dive into this month’s HSI – we hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed making it.
Stay safe – and warm!
Kimberley de Selincourt