How to Stay Safe Working Outdoors This Winter

If your job requires you to spend time outside during the winter months, it’s important to make workplace safety your top priority. You’ll need to protect yourself from common winter hazards, including hypothermia, frostbite and dangerous slips. To keep yourself as safe, focused and comfortable as possible this winter, follow these simple tips.

Wear the right clothes

Layer up with warm shirts, pants, sweaters, and coats to protect yourself from cold temperatures. By wearing several layers you’ll not only stay warm but also be able to shed layers as needed to adjust to warmer temperatures throughout the day. Wear wool socks and thick gloves to keep your hands and feet warm and to promote circulation while you work.

 It’s much harder to stay warm if your clothing gets wet, so it’s important to avoid getting damp when you’re working. Wear waterproof outer layers, including rain jackets and snow boots, to keep yourself dry. If your clothes get wet, change them as soon as possible. Working in wet clothing when temperatures are below freezing greatly increases the risk of hypothermia.

Take breaks

Breaks are required for workers of all kinds, but they’re especially important for workers who spend a lot of time outside exposed to adverse weather conditions. Take plenty of breaks throughout the day, especially if you begin to feel cold, shaky or weak. Take your breaks in a comfortable, dry place and sip on a hot beverage to warm yourself up.

Rest is also essential when you’re working outdoors during the winter. Being tired while working outside increases the risk of falls and other accidents. Get plenty of sleep before your shift to ensure that you’re well-rested and alert while you’re working.

Don’t forget to eat

When you’re working hard, it’s easy to forget about taking food and water breaks. Make sure you stop working periodically to eat nutritious meals and drink water to keep yourself hydrated. Warm meals, like soups and hot sandwiches, can keep you feeling full and give you the energy you need to continue working in winter weather conditions.

Prepare for the worst

If you work remotely, on a site or spend a lot of time on the road, keep emergency supplies handy. Include flares, candles, matches, nonperishable food, bottled water and emergency blankets in your kit. These supplies can keep you safe until you are able to get help in the event of an emergency, like a vehicle breakdown or unexpected road closure. Even if you never actually have to use your emergency kit, it’s always better to overprepare than to be caught without the necessary supplies in case of an emergency.

You might not be able to avoid exposure to winter weather conditions, but you can certainly do a lot to keep yourself safe on the job. Whether you only spend a few minutes outside while you’re on the clock or you’re constantly working outdoors for your job, these tips can keep you safe and comfortable no matter what the forecast has in store.

Whether you’re looking to move indoors or are ready for a different outdoor job, Award Staffing can help. Browse our job opportunities to find your future.

How to Promote Safety with New Employees

How to Promote Safety with New Employees

When you’re running a company, safety should be of utmost importance in order to reduce injury and stay on top of risk. Many unsafe situations can be attributed to new employees not knowing policies or not knowing what these unsafe situations are. Here’s how you can promote safety with new employees:

Be Proactive

Don’t wait for an incident to occur to tell a new employee that they’re in the wrong or not following directions closely enough. Sometimes, consequences of doing so can be so disastrous that the post-incident instructions might not even be effective. Make sure to train your new employee as you’re going about your day in order to increase the likelihood that you can proactively cover different issues.

Reward Good Behavior

Good behavior often goes hand-in-hand with safety, so it’s a great idea to reward good behavior. You can do this, however, your company decides, but it is important to publicly recognize new employees for good behavior. When you do so, you are cementing the importance of safety for your entire company and setting the precedent for any new employees to come.

Review the Policies Regularly

Your company has safety policies that help keep everyone in line, appropriate, and ultimately safe. It’s your job to see that your new employee knows the policies and adheres to them whenever possible. If you do this, you will avoid a lot of unsafe situations as the new employee will be more aware of their possibilities.

Ask if There Are Questions

A lot of unsafe situations are created simply by new employees being confused. Make sure you check in with your new employee regularly to see if s/he has any questions. If they don’t understand a rule or policy, keep explaining it to them in different ways until they do. Different employees have different learning styles, so as long as you cater to them, you should be on the right path.

If you have reviewed these suggestions and think it’s time to hire a new employee, contact Award Staffing. We will help you find an employee who is well-suited for your company and also is a rule follower. Much of the confusion surrounding safety can be avoided at the hiring stage; we’d like to help you do that.



Want to learn more about how Award Staffing can help your organization with your staffing and employment needs? Start by providing our team with a few pieces of information about yourself, and we will take care of the rest.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

5 Easy Ways Protect Your Eyes at Work

5 Easy Ways Protect Your Eyes at Work

As an employee of a light industrial company, your eyes are one of your most important assets. However, many light industrial jobs require skillsets and tasks that can put your eyes in danger. Protect your eyes while working by following specific safety measures. The two best ways to protect your eyes at work are to avoid harmful situations and enable best safety practices. Here are some dangerous conditions you should avoid:

1. Avoid Direct Sunlight-

If you’re working in the direct sunlight, you are potentially exposing your eyes to harmful UV rays. Over time, direct sunlight can have detrimental effects on your eyes such as blindness and blurred vision.

2. Be Cautious of Contaminants-

Contaminants are usually chemicals, whether liquid or gas, that can cause serious harm to your eyes. Some pollutants are so strong that they could blind you or seriously impair your vision instantly.

3. Watch out for Particles-

If you’re working in a job that requires construction or deconstruction, the chances are that you have particles flying around you most of the day. Particles can irritate your eye and potentially cause serious harm if they are not removed quickly. Protect your eyes is to adopt certain safety practices in response to these harmful situations. Here are some safety practices you should enable:

4. Wear Sunglasses if You’re Working Outside and Goggles if You’re Working Inside-

One of the most important ways you can protect your eyes is to shield them from harm. If you’re working outside, you should wear sunglasses on a regular basis. Sunglasses will protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, but they will also protect you from air-borne particles. If you’re working inside, wear protective goggles. The goggles will protect you from air-borne particles.

5. Wash Your Hands Before Touching Your Eyes-

The best way to protect yourself from contaminants, in addition to protective goggles, is to wash your hands before touching your eyes. When you do this, you are erasing the pollutants from your hand so that you won’t accidentally touch your eye. Develop a regular habit of washing your hands as soon as you finish working with a harmful substance to reduce the risk of irritation and contamination. Your eyes are particularly susceptible to harm. Make an effort to keep them protected when you are at work. Award Staffing believes in safety on the job.

If you are looking for a job in the light industrial field where safety matters, contact Award Staffing to be matched up with a company that fits your needs perfectly. We have offices located in Bloomington, Chaska, Crystal, Delano, Maplewood, and Ramsey Minnesota to help you with your job search today!

Slips, Trips, and Falls Safety at Work

Slips, Trips, and Falls Safety at Work

Slips, trips, and falls are responsible for many general industry accidents.  They cause 15% of all accidental deaths and are second only to motor vehicles as a cause of fatalities. 65% of fall-related injuries occur as a result of falls from same-level walking surfaces.

Conditions that create slip, trip, and fall hazards include:

• Dry product spills such as dusts, powders, granules and small metal parts
• Highly polished or freshly waxed floors
• Uneven or sloped surfaces
• Transitions from one surface to another (e.g., outdoors to indoors, carpet to vinyl, grid to concrete)
• Unanchored rugs or mats, loose floorboards or steps, missing tiles
• Gravel, grass, leaves, pine needles and other slippery natural materials
• Incorrect use of personal protective gear and fall prevention equipment
• Poor housekeeping such as clutter, obstacles in work areas, open cabinets and desk drawers
• Inadequate or no cautionary signage
• Dim lighting, glare, shadows or misty conditions
• Individual physical factors such as poor eyesight or depth perception; fatigue, dizziness, stress or illness; medication, alcohol and drug effects
• Behavioral factors such as talking on cell phones or eating while walking; hurrying and not paying attention to surroundings; carrying or moving cumbersome or tall objects; taking unsafe shortcuts; being off balance when mounting/dismounting vehicles, equipment, ladders or scaffolding; wearing inappropriate footwear for the conditions or wet, muddy or greasy shoes


Precautions and Prevention:

• Practicing good housekeeping
• Keeping floor surfaces clean and dry
• Providing adequate drainage in wet floor locations
• Ensuring wet floor warning signs are posted in and around wet floor locations
• Maintaining clear aisles and passageways
• Ensuring walkway surfaces are in good repair
• Keeping cords and hoses out of the way
• Reporting and cleaning up spills immediately
• Providing non-slip coatings or anti-skid surfaces
• Minimizing matting trip hazards
• Providing adequate lighting in all areas
• Eliminating uneven floor surfaces
• Setting standards for type(s) of footwear to be worn
Training the workforce to take shorter, more vertical steps in tricky spots and to step over obstacles at an angle
• Establishing an “eyes on the path” and no running rule
• Be observant.
• Placement of warning signs or caution tape and cleaning up spills


When walking, employees should:

• Wear non-slip shoes or work boots
• Proceed at a reasonable pace and avoid distractions
• Use handrails when going up or down stairs and not skip steps
• Use a flashlight in dimly lit or dark areas
• Use extra caution when walking from one surface to another or when the walking surface is uneven, wet or icy
• Hold small loads close to their body and not carry anything that is too large or bulky to see over or around


Good housekeeping practices include:

• Stowing or covering electrical cords, cables, hoses and other trip hazards
• Repairing damaged ladders or steps and uneven walking surfaces
• Ensuring floors are clean, dry and not too slippery
• Closing all drawers and doors that protrude into walkways and aisles
• Installing skid-resistant materials on ramps and other sloped surfaces
• Cleaning up spills following strategic placement of caution signs
• Using moisture-absorbent, slide-proof floor mats, especially at entrances/exits
• Installing adequate lighting in walkways, staircases, ramps, hallways and other work areas

Also review other workplace safety topics here or if you’re looking to hire new employees but don’t know where to start, contact Award Staffing. We will be able to help you find the right employees for your unique business needs.



Every month we will share with you an engaging infographic, designed to catch the attention of workers around that month’s topic.