Local News

Tips For Outdoor Workers in Winter Weather

BEND, OR -- There is more snow and ice in the forecast, which could pose dangers for those who have to work out in the elements. Oregon’s state-chartered workers’ compensation insurance company is warning workers and employers to stay safe in the cold.


Luke Betts, in Bend’s Saif Corporation office, says one of the biggest hazards can be simply walking. "Try and think about a penguin and how it walks – shorten your step and point your toes slightly out, also turn very gradually. Keep your hands out of your pockets to avoid out of balance, don’t carry large loads and avoid distractions, such as cell phones; wear shoes with good traction and consider wearing over-the-shoe devices for better traction." Those include "yaktrax" and other traction devices. But, he tells KBND News, "Do keep in mind that while these devices provide better traction in the snow and the ice because they dig into the surface, they will also raise the shoes surface above hard surfaces, such as tile and concrete making them ice skates; so, make sure that when you come indoors you take those off."
"For employers, have an inclement weather program in place. That program should include designated walkways that are going to be cleared of snow and ice," says Betts. "If possible, consider delaying the workday or allowing employees work from home." He says slowing down is the best way to avoid injuries, whether driving or just walking. 
Central Oregon remains under a winter weather advisory until 10 p.m., Thursday. More snow is expected over the weekend. 


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