Keeping construction workers safe should always be a priority. Often, the location and time of the year determines how employers manage to do that. No matter the time of year there are many safety hazards in the construction industry. In the summer and warmer climates, employers focus on protecting workers from such issues as sun and heat. During the winter and in colder climates, employers must keep in mind extreme cold temperatures, strong winds and a greater chance of slipping. Employers need to improve education on winter safety dangers, which can significantly reduce the risk of worker illness, injury or even death.
Ten tips to improve winter safety on your construction site:
- Limit exposure to the elements.
- Track weather forecasts.
- Provide a warm area for breaks.
- Provide first aid kits in all vehicles and job sites.
- Require proper gear worn at all times.
- Review work sites every day.
- Remove snow and ice for work areas.
- Inspect and prepare all vehicles.
- Set up a procedure for workers on what to do if they are stranded in a vehicle for an extended period.
- Workers need to be educated on the signs of frostbite and hypothermia.
Depending on where you live, you could be affected by snowstorms, bitterly cold wind chill, extreme frost, slippery ice, below zero temperatures and sometimes all of the above… at the same time. Severe winter weather is a relative term, depending on the climate you live in. Either way, the same basic safety concepts still apply. Even if you live in a warmer climate, at times, you may have to travel to an area where the temperatures drop at or below freezing. If employees have a basic understanding of winter safety, you can increase your chances of having an injury-free construction site.
Frostbite can set in a matter of minutes, 5 minutes or less most of the time. Frostbite can affect someone for the rest of their life. It is essential to take steps to prevent this, wearing the appropriate clothing and limiting exposure to cold temperatures as much as possible. When determining risk factors, don’t just consider air temperature, but also incorporate wind chill into your assessment.
At Allen Trench Safety we take pride in always doing what is best for our customers. View the industry’s best selection of UltraShore trench boxes on our website, or call and talk to Chris or Katie at 877-854-3552.