OMNIA Partners Blog

Protecting Workers and the Bottom Line in Fall & Winter Weather [Gallery]

Posted by Matt Narens on November 16,2017


Each season provides unique hazards and safety risks to workers and facilities alike. Previously we discussed the extreme risks tied to heat stress and its affect on worker productivity, but as the colder weather blows in so do new and unexpected risks, hazards, and necessary precautions.

Autumn Safety Hazards

It can be easy to overlook the risks associated with Autumn weather, as it may seem less severe than Summer heat or Winter cold, however, operations and procurement teams purchasing safety equipment should be just as astute and vigilant during the Fall as you are in any other season. The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries says outdoor work conditions can be especially risky specific during Fall months. Conditions are often hard to prepare for in the Autumn, meaning workers need to be armed with proper PPE and safety measures need to be in place allowing for the safe ability to work in changing conditions. In addition to constantly changing environmental factors there is the risk of falling debris adding to the risk for slips, trips and falls.

Additionally, Fall can have many potential risks to your facility itself. To prepare your facility for the changing weather conditions facility managers should follow this preparation checklist.

Fall-Facility-Prep 10-31.png

Winter Safety Hazards

As the cold, sometimes frigid depending on your facility location, weather blows in so does the risk for hazards like cold stress. “In regions that are not used to winter weather, near freezing temperatures are considered factors for "cold stress." Increased wind speed also causes heat to leave the body more rapidly (wind chill effect). Wetness or dampness, even from body sweat, also facilitates heat loss from the body. Cold stress occurs by driving down the skin temperature, and eventually the internal body temperature. When the body is unable to warm itself, serious cold-related illnesses and injuries may occur, and permanent tissue damage and death may result,” according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Employers need to be cognizant of the wind chill to properly understand and mitigate their workers’ risk. Additionally, consistently monitoring the physical conditions of new employees who may not be used to working in the cold or workers who may have been spent time away from work.

A 2015 Study found that cold weather kills 20 times more people than heat. Most surprisingly, the weather was not extreme, the majority happen on moderately cold days. The study analyzed data on more than 74 million deaths in 13 countries between 1985 and 2012. Of those, 5.4 million deaths were related to cold, while 311,000 were related to heat.

How can Procurement Help? When making PPE and industrial supplies purchases for you facilities procurement should keep in mind the location and what changing weather conditions will affect each – being sure not to underestimate the affect that moderate cold can have on the respiratory system. Protecting employees enabling them to perform their work comfortably will result in higher productivity rates and ROI for each facility– boosting the bottom line.

Purchasing PPE from the Master Core List will help procurement uncover additional savings on the items you need to protect your workers. The Master Core List is updated on a semi-annual basis to be more responsive to members’ activities, which in turn improves member pricing on the MRO items most important to CU members. The most recent update to the Master Core List in January 2017 resulted in an additional 3.5% savings for members on the Industrial Supplies and MRO program.

Keep Out the Cold

Fastenal and Corporate United offer these winter weather supplies on the Master Core List to help procurement prepare your facilities for maximized profitability and safety.

 

Impact of Master Core List Purchasing

The Corporate United Master Core List is comprised of approximately 13,000 commonly purchased, aggressively priced MRO items available through the CU/ Fastenal program. The Master Core List is updated on a semi-annual basis to be more responsive to members’ activities, which in turn improves member pricing on the MRO items most important to CU members. The most recent update to the Master Core List in January 2017 resulted in an additional 3.5% savings for members on the Industrial Supplies and MRO program.

Seasonal Safety Made Easy

The Industrial Supplies and MRO program delivers value to members through our competitive pricing structure and elevated service levels. In addition to the continued year over year cost savings, the key driver has been CU’s commitment to help members procure MRO more intelligently and navigate efficiently. Through strategic category management, CU identifies and implements new ways to drive value for members from a total cost of ownership perspective.

Have you been taking advantage of Master Core List savings as you prep your workforce for seasonality safety? Contact CU to realize the full value of your MRO program.

Topics: Facilities, Industrial Supplies and MRO, Fastenal, Infographic, Gallery

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