Dealing With Cold Weather Challenges In Construction

  • Editorial Team
  • Construction Safety
  • 29 November 2023

When winter is coming for the construction industry, it means that it is time to start preparing for the weather with inspections and getting the construction equipment ready to withstand the weather conditions. First you should start off by focusing on the small components like hoses, belts, and fittings. After that you need to make sure that you are replacing or repairing any damaged parts very quickly and promptly. Also try installing some winter tires or tracks for even better traction in the deep snow that is bound to pile up. You also need to see the impact that the freezing temperatures have on the fluids of your machine. If you do that you can actually get the proper replacement or refilling in time. Lastly, remember to store your used equipment in a clean, dry place with some new oil. You need to disconnect batteries, or use a trickle charger to prevent any depletion.

Prioritizing the Workers Well being

Safeguard the well being of construction workers by providing them with clear instructions on the proper winter attire. Encourage layering for flexibility in fluctuating temperatures and provide them with extra clothing so they can combat the cold and damp conditions. It is important to emphasize protection for extremities with layered socks and gloves. Caution them against any clothing items that may pose risks around heavy machinery. Educate workers, especially new hires, on the signs of cold stress and some ways on how to prevent it. You should also establish some comfortable, and dry shelters for breaks during extreme weather.

Swift Emergency Response Planning

Given the potential for drastic weather shifts in winter you should have a solid emergency response plan. You need to know that emergency services may have delayed response times during bad weather conditions. So, ensure the availability of some first aid supplies and train your workforce in their use. Maintain a stock of blankets, radios, lanterns, batteries, and snow removal equipment in some accessible and sheltered locations. Another thing you should do is to develop and communicate an emergency evacuation plan. Also make sure that you are regularly updating the contact lists for better communication.

Why You Need Strategic Budgeting for Winter Operations

You need to take budgetary considerations into account before you get started on winter construction projects. There is always the potential increase in labor, material, and fuel expenses during the winter season, so consider that before hand. Remember to account for the costs that are associated with excavating a frozen ground, acquiring specialized equipment, and using additives for concrete and masonry work in such cold conditions. You have to assess the necessity of winter work and evaluate if delaying the project might lead to some cost savings. You can deal with the budgeting challenges that come with winter work through meticulous planning and consideration of the different expenses that are tied to working in such cold temperatures. It is better to be prepared for the weather ahead of time instead of scrambling to find a solution after starting work on a project and getting stuck due to some harsh weather. If your construction equipment breaks down in the middle of a job because you were not prepared, it will only end up costing you more in the end.