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Control measure

Safe system of work: Extreme cold at industrial sites

Control measure knowledge

The initial method of controlling the hazard of extreme cold may be to isolate power or fuel supplies to the source of the cold.

However, in many circumstances it is unlikely that doing this will increase the temperature of surfaces, items of equipment or atmospheres in a short space of time. If possible the area should be avoided. It may be feasible to use tactical ventilation to increase the temperature.

Although structural firefighting personal protective equipment (PPE) offers some thermal protection, the temperatures may not to be safe to work in immediately and it may be necessary to establish exclusion zones. The responsible person or on-site staff may be able to provide information about safe working temperatures.

There should be appropriate crew rotation for personnel working in extreme cold, and they should be monitored for the effects of hypothermia.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Ensure that information about equipment that generates extreme cold and how to isolate it is included in SSRI

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Liaise with the responsible person for information about equipment that generates extreme cold and the isolation procedures
  • Consider isolating the source of extreme cold
  • Consider avoiding the area affected by extreme cold
  • Ensure personnel wear PPE appropriate for working in extreme cold

  • Closely supervise personnel and implement appropriate crew rotation for those working in affected areas
  • Monitor personnel for the effects of hypothermia

  • Consider tactical ventilation to increase the temperature