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Winter is here again with its cold temperatures, snow, ice, wind—and the hassles or even risks that accompany the season. There are the normal sub-freezing temperatures that many parts of the U.S. experience every winter, and then there are other more extreme cold-weather events that sometimes occur such as a sudden extreme cold snap, a period of sustained extreme cold, high winds resulting in lower wind chill temperatures, or a period of recurring freeze/thaw cycles.
We have assembled practical cold-weather strategies for you to consider in your efforts to ensure continued safe waste handling and storage, as well as the safety of your team.
Personnel working in waste-generating operations or storage areas may need some extra help to stay safe during the winter.
Emergencies can happen at any time of the year, so make sure exits, evacuation routes, and emergency response access routes remain clear of ice and snow. Also check that emergency vehicles and equipment are accessible and functional—no dead batteries, frozen gears, etc. Consider conducting ER drills during inclement weather.
A number of different motorized vehicles are used at, or visit, your facility—forklifts, company trucks, delivery trucks, and waste pickup vehicles, to name just a few. Check that the driveway, loading/unloading, and parking areas of your facility are clear of snow and ice to prevent vehicles from sliding off the pavement, sliding into buildings, or damaging outside structures or storage areas.
Freezing temperatures can present a real challenge for maintaining the integrity of waste storage containers and tanks. The goal is, of course, to prevent wastes from freezing and rupturing their containers, which could result in a number of possible hazards:
A few things to watch to help prevent a release from occurring include:
We hope you find this starter list helpful as you work to ensure a safe and successful winter season. If you would like to talk to us about more facility-uspecific strategies, please try our new live chat feature or contact us.
Heritage is here to help you succeed, no matter what winter brings your way!
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