10 Winter Safety Tips for Construction Workers
There’s a lot of safety hazards in the construction industry, and during winter, it can be pretty dangerous to construction workers, especially those who have to work outdoors. That is why we have decided to gather the top 10 safety tips ideal for construction workers.
1. Always Remove the Area Before Work Begins
This isn’t only applicable during winter, but all year round. Project managers should make it a habit to check the area and ensure that there aren’t any hazards within.
Likewise, traffic safety cones should also be strategically placed in areas where motorists should be notified regarding the ongoing construction project.
2. Remove Snow and Ice Regularly
Construction workers already have a lot to deal with, and to ensure their productivity, make sure that the area is free of snow and ice. As much as possible, refrain from having your workers do their tasks at low temperatures as it can be hazardous.
However, in such a case that it cannot be prevented, at least have them wear the proper safety apparel to protect themselves.
3. Require the Use of Proper Gear
During winter, construction workers should have the proper gear that would allow them to combat cold. This can range from gloves, heavy coats, boots, and so on. All of these are perfect for cold temperatures.
Aside from that smart wearables can also be a lifesaver, because these are equipped with sensors that could quickly detect the changes in the wearer’s body temperature.
For that reason, employers should require their workers to wear proper clothing that would keep them warm and dry– to avoid hypothermia and frostbite. Non Slip shoes can also help them avoid getting injured due to fall and slip.
4. Exposure to Winter Elements Should be Limited
The wind and snow are often blowing hard during winter, and the temperature can be dangerously low– this can be dangerous to workers. The human body is not fully capable of withstanding such elements, especially during long periods of time.
For that reason, contractors should be considerate and try to schedule outside work accordingly– as much as possible, in shorter duration. With large projects, it’s highly ideal to break it down into smaller tasks.
5. There Should be a Warm Break Area for Workers
Because most construction works usually happen outdoors, it would be ideal if construction workers would at least have the designated area that can keep them warm. It could be something as simple as a heated trailer, or even just a tent equipped with portable heaters. It should be an area where workers can feel warm and comfortable.
6. Discourage Workers from Drinking Caffeinated Beverages and Coffee
When the weather is cold, most of us will rely on drinking coffee. However, this isn’t ideal for construction workers, especially those who have to work overnight just to get through their shift.
Caffeine increases the heart rate, and this can be bad for workers who are performing dangerous tasks.
7. Winter Driving
Despite the fact employers don’t have full control over the roadway conditions, the least they can do is be able to recognize the hazards of winter weather driving.
For instance, only licensed and properly trained drivers should be allowed to drive on snow and ice. Likewise, employers should also carry out driver safety policies everyone should follow.
8. Warning Signs of Hypothermia and Frostbite
There will be instances where your workers will still be at risk even if you have already done everything to protect them– this holds true, especially during winter. What’s the best way to prevent that?
The answer is pretty simple; all you have to do is educate them about the symptoms and warning signs of both hypothermia and frostbite. By doing so, if someone in the team starts to exhibit these signs, other workers would be aware, and they would be able to seek medical attention right away.
9. Direct Workers On What To Do If They Get Stranded in a Vehicle
During winter months, it’s quite common for construction vehicles to malfunction. If not properly handled, this could lead to crash or other serious consequences.
For that reason, it’s imperative to teach the workers on how to handle such situation. Employers should ensure that workers know what to do and who to call if they get stranded.
10. Always Inspect and Prepare the Construction Vehicles
Prevention is always better than cure. What we are trying to say is that, before the cold season hits in, contractors, supervisors, and project managers should thoroughly inspect all vehicles and ensure that they are all working correctly.
Aside from that, they should also have an emergency kit handy during emergency situations. This should contain a snow brush, ice scraper, two chains, shovel, spare batteries, emergency flares, water, blanket, and snacks.
Chris provides national brands with freelance copywriting, PPC Management Services, and SEO strategies as a Digital Media Strategy Consultant. He is also passionate about emerging technologies and traffic safety issues.