First, review with trainees the jobs that are likely to be done in cold conditions, the hazards of working in cold conditions, and methods for mitigating these hazards, including engineering and administrative controls and PPE. After review of all relevant information, check the understanding of trainees by asking them to answer the following questions:
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Use this training exercise to ensure that employees understand the hazards posed by cold conditions and are ready to take preventive actions. Responses to the questions can be made by either individuals or small groups. After allowing individuals or groups time to compose answers to the questions, convene all trainees for a discussion.
Questions 1 and 2 are specific to the workplace and potentially to individual jobs. However, for question 2, certain answers are likely, such as exposure to winds, slick footing caused by snow or ice, or exposure to cold in refrigerated environments.
Questions 3, 4, and 5 ask trainees about recognizing and responding to medical conditions associated with cold. Keep in mind that the current session is awareness-level training; training in first aid by a certified provider is recommended. Use the questions to gauge trainees’ basic understanding of conditions such as hypothermia and frostbite, and, especially, when they should get help if a condition arises. Ensure trainees know who to call in case a medical professional is needed.
Questions 6, 7, and 8 ask about preventive measures. Ensure that the discussion includes engineering and administrative controls, as well as PPE. Talk about company policies regarding scheduling of breaks or rotation of workers if the trainees do not bring it up on their own. Make sure the discussion is thorough and covers all relevant information and related issues. For instance, this is a good opportunity to remind trainees that being physically fit will help them withstand cold.
Question 9 asks for advice for new workers: What are the most important things to keep in mind about working in cold conditions? This is a good chance to see what information the trainees are taking with them from this session.
Keep in mind that these questions have more than one right answer. Allow ample time for discussion and do not cut it short.
Make sure that each trainee provides an answer to at least one question. Call on those who seem hesitant. Everyone needs to be involved in this exercise.
Optionally, you may collect written answers for review before or after the discussion.
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