Although we may be all dreaming of warm spring days, the reality is that we are still in the middle of winter. Construction won’t stop just because winter is here, which is why we’ve put together these tips on how to help construction workers stay safe during this time of year.
Always Check The Weather Forecast
As silly as this may sound, it’s always important to regularly check the weather forecast. Just a change of a few degrees or freezing rain can create working conditions that are dangerous.
Not only can bad weather cause conditions that are difficult to work in but it can also create conditions that are very dangerous to travel in. The last thing anyone would want is for a construction crew to become trapped at a construction site or to be involved in a serious car accident.
Encourage Employees To Wear Proper Clothing – Even Consider Supplying It
Technology hasn’t just helped to advance machinery and tools, it has also helped to develop clothing that can protect those exposed to extreme temperatures. The types of clothing that every worker should consider include:
- thermal underwear
- insulated gloves
- insulated and waterproof boots
- wool socks
- hat/balaclava that can protect the face and mouth
Remember to wear slightly loose clothing so that blood circulation isn’t decreased and to layer up. Also, consider purchasing clothing with pockets that can hold “Hot Hands” warmers all over the body.
Pay Close Attention To Walkways
Even if a walkway has been cleared in the past it should be checked daily. During the day, the sun may cause snow and ice to melt. Then, when the temperature drops at night, that melt will refreeze.
Slip and fall accidents cause a large percentage of construction accidents each year and can be avoided with a few minutes of preparation.
Heat Up Tools Prior To Use
There are many tools that can malfunction or break if not warmed up properly before use. Be sure to read the instruction manuals for any tools that will be used on the construction site so that workers can be prepared.
Provide A Heated Retreat
Even with the right gear, workers still need a place to take a break that is warm. It is important that these break areas be provided.
Consider Scheduling Work Later In The Day
As Americans, we always want to utilize every possible second of the day to get work done. However, in the winter months, it is often best for all employees if that day starts a little later than usual to allow the weather to warm up as much as possible.
By following these tips, construction accidents can be avoided, employees can stay safe, and construction projects completed on time.