Construction work will continue whether it is cold or not so you need to know how to protect your workers from the harsh winter weather and keep them safe. You need to be prepared before the next winter storm strikes your area and the snow and ice start accumulating. The following are a few safety tips that will ensure your worker’s safety in this weather.
Inspect and Clear the Work Site
When the cold winds start blowing you need to be alert and look out for any downed power lines and trees before letting your employees start work. Make sure there is no snow and ice on the walkways, roofs, scaffolding, and ladders. Clearing the work surface as well as all the walking surfaces is essential. Make sure that your workers understand how important it is to practice safety during such weather conditions as the risk of falls increases tenfold at this time.
If there are any ice patches, you can use salt or sand to melt them and improve the traction for your workers. If there are certain areas where it is not possible to clear the ice and snow you need to clearly mark them and alert the workers about those areas. If the workers are going to be carrying materials and tools, make sure that they take short steps and slow down whenever necessary to avoid falling or slipping. You can also find used cat equipment for snow removal. If there are any icicles you need to knock them off before they break loose and accidentally knock someone out.
Watch the Weather Conditions
You need to be aware of any incoming storms or blizzards. You do not want to be caught off guard by a Blizzard blowing in and trapping all the workers on site. Make sure that your workers have enough time to secure the work site and reach their homes safely before a storm blows in.
You also need to keep an eye on your workers and make sure that they are not showing signs of hypothermia or frostbite when the temperature drops. It is also your responsibility to ensure that all of your workers are clothed properly for the weather. As the temperature plummets, you need to encourage your workers to take more breaks and warm up.
A Heated Break Area
While working in the cold weather your workers will get tired more easily as they expend more energy in order to keep their bodies warm. Make sure to provide them with a heated break area such as a trailer, tent, or an indoor area where they can warm up from the cold. Make sure to encourage your workers to take frequent breaks so they can rest and warm up.
You can also use this time to check up on your workers and look for any signs of fatigue, frostbite, or hypothermia. Encourage your workers to drink warm liquids and change out of wet cooling. Remind your employees to limit their consumption of caffeine, nicotine, and other such stimulants that might increase their heartbeats.
Provide Workers with Proper Personal Protective Equipment
Make sure that your workers are wearing the necessary personal protective equipment to be safe from the harsh winter. They should always be wearing hard hats so they are protected from any following objects like icicles. In order to keep the workers warm, you can use liners inside hard hats and provide them with gloves and mittens that they can easily work with. Make sure that your workers always keep their gloves on, particularly when they are climbing ladders, scaffolding, or getting onto construction equipment.