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The Deep Freeze: Limiting Liabilities for Cold Weather Hazards

January, 2014 - In one of the coldest winters in decades, employers must be mindful of the potential health and safety hazards cold weather can create and how cold weather can also result in OSHA liabilities. Unlike its Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness, OSHA has not announced a program to prevent cold-related illness. However, employers should anticipate that OSHA will apply the same scrutiny to both hazards. Consequently, proactive employers must consider developing cold illness programs including a job hazard analysis, personal-protective equipment (PPE) assessments for cold weather, and ensuring that employees are provided appropriate personal protective equipment and are trained to identify the signs and symptoms of cold illness. Further, it is important that all employers, regardless of whether they are subject to OSHA’s general industry or construction standards, take such precautions