Winter is perhaps the most problematic of the seasons, not least because of the hazards that cold conditions can present to people who are out and about. Since construction sites call for caution even in the best of time, it should come as no surprise to note that combining the two results in a scenario that is more dangerous than the sum of its parts. However, this scenario is not unmanageable, meaning that construction can continue with minimal risk even in the depths of winter so long as supervisors remember a small set of simple but nonetheless essential procedures that should be carried out on a routine basis.
Our Top Ten Safety Tips For Construction Sites In Winter:
- Constant exposure to the elements can exact a serious toll on humans even under the best circumstances, never mind the combination of cold temperatures and chilling precipitation that the season can bring. Since frost bite and other cold weather-related injuries are common maladies in wintertime, supervisors on the construction sites must be prepared to provide assistance to the affected.
- At the same time, supervisors should make sure that their personnel understand the signs of frost bite and other cold weather-related injuries so that assistance can be provided as soon as possible.
- Supervisors should inspect the construction sites each morning to check for potential problems. Some of these problems can be solved outright, while others might need to be managed until winter is over.
- It is crucial that the paths on construction sites remain clear. In most cases, the paths should also be sprinkled with salt, though more eco-conscious companies might prefer to use a substitute. For example, sand is cheap but provides both excellent traction and the low albedo needed to absorb more sunlight.
- Bear in mind that the process of clearing the snow should not create more obstacles. Piling the snow can be more convenient than melting it, but pile it too high and it can end up obstructing sight.
- Furthermore, make sure to inspect probable locations for the formation of icicles that can fall on personnel. Remove the icicles with care if that is possible. However, if the icicles cannot be removed, rope off the area so that personnel will not be working beneath them.
- Portable heaters can be useful tools on construction sites, but their presence can also create hazards. Supervisors should make sure that their heaters receive inspections from LP-Gas technicians before seeing usage so that potential problems can be caught and fixed.
- Be sure to use heaters in the right manner. For example, heaters should be placed on fire-resistant surfaces with plentiful ventilation, while their hoses must remain clear and unobstructed. Furthermore, combustible materials should not be brought into the presence of heaters because of the potential for combustion.
- Propane tanks should be placed upright on stable surfaces. Securing them is important, but using metal might not be a good idea because metal-on-metal contact can result in sparks.
- Supervisors and their personnel should not fail to practice the usual methods for remaining safe on construction sites in winter. In fact, all parties should go even slower because the potential for danger is that much higher.
Safety Equals Being Proactive
In conclusion, remaining safe on construction sites in winter means being proactive about potential problems. Supervisors need to plan ahead so that their personnel can continue building without problems even in the most perilous season. At Murtagh Brothers we make every effort to make sure our sites are safe for everyone involved.