OSHA aiming to protect NEPA workers during bitter temperatures

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is s issuing a ‘call to action’ for Northeastern Pennsylvania, to protect workers during these dangerously cold temperatures.

As temperatures drop to dangerously low rates many workers are at risk for winter weather workplace hazards.

OSHA is calling on our area employers to protect workers, especially those working outdoors in the frigid weather.

“OSHA wants to remind employers to train the workers on their hazards of the cold. There are definitely illnesses that can occur because of the cold. These can include; hypothermia, frostbite and trench foot, explained OSHA Wilkes-Barre Area Director, Mary Reynolds.

Many workers are not only dealing with the snow, ice, and frigid temperatures but they’re also working early mornings and late nights in the dark.

“I leave my house at 2:00,” said Dominick Valvano, Soft Drink Delivery.

Dominick Valvano has been delivering soft drinks around Luzerne County for 16 years. Rain, shine, or snow, he works Monday through Friday making his rounds. His typical shift is a 12 hour day.

“It’s a little difficult when we have a lot of snow, trying to get to a lot of parking lots, sometimes they’re icy. Some spots if there’s hills, we have to be a little extra careful because a lot of parking lots aren’t well taken care of. So it’s a little more challenging in the wintertime,” Valvano explained.

But he says his company makes sure he’s taken care of.

“They make sure we’re warm and our trucks have all good heaters,” said Valvano.

OSHA says employers should train workers on the hazards, adjust work practices for weather conditions, ensure workers have appropriate gear and clothing and maintain vehicles, snow equipment and emergency kits.

Employees have rights and protections under OSHA. To learn more click here.

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