Outdoor workers deal with Arctic blast

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ELMIRA, NY (WENY) — While many people have the luxury of working indoors this winter, that’s not the case for everyone. As temperatures plummet heading into the weekend, many that have to work outside face the elements.

“Over the summer, we had some heat waves. Now you have the other side of the spectrum,” Mark Lawrence of the United States Post Office said, adding, “You got the frigid temperatures, but then you throw wind in on top of it, it’s crazy cold out there.”

With mail carriers still making sure packages arrive on time, The United States Postal Service says the safety of employees is their top priority. With these sub-freezing temperatures on Friday and Saturday, the USPS has safety talks with all employees as they head out on their delivery routes.

“Cold weather service talks include pointers, tips on frostbite, hypothermia,” Lawrence said, adding, “We want to make sure that our employees are aware of those symptoms, ahead caution, and properly dress while they go out there.”

Lawrence added that weekends with weather like this are the right time to remind employees of what they are up against. Windy and icy conditions, Mark says, can cause slips, trips, and falls, which are the biggest concerns mail carriers worry about.

“It’s that layer of ice underneath or that fine glaze of snow that creates that slippery surface,” Lawrence said, adding, “Watching the footing, using the handrail, (and) being safe. “

Chase Rickard with CPR Landscaping says this weekend is what some might consider the worst of the worst conditions to work outside in. He said he and his staff have tools to cope with working in sub-freezing temperatures.

“(They should) take their time, to remain safe, and get the job done so that our customers can remain safe in this sort of weather.” Rickard said.

Mark and Chase say people at home can make both their jobs easier by shoveling and salting. This helps make sure they can do their job safely and reduces the risk of getting hurt.


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