Basic Winter Safety Tips for Construction Workers

A construction site can have many safety hazards at any time of year, and construction firms and workers must take measures to keep everyone on-site safe. During winter, workers can be exposed to extreme cold, high winds, and icy rain, and employers need to ensure their staff are protected.

As well as the weather conditions making slips and falls more likely, it is also the season for flu and colds, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, so encourage workers to get vaccinated and/or boosted to help mitigate absence due to illness and help prevent the transmission of illnesses and the coronavirus in the workplace.

Let’s have a look at some essential winter safety tips for construction workers.

Avoid coffee and alcohol – Many people need a coffee in the morning to kick start the day, but coffee or alcohol can cause heart rates to increase and give workers a false sense of warmth. Ensure there is a supply of drinking water readily available.

Provide a warm break area – Most construction work is outside. Workers need an area to keep warm. Whether it’s a heated trailer or tent with portable heaters, having an area where workers can escape the elements is important.

Require proper gear – Construction workers will need to wear the right protective equipment during the cold of winter. Boots, heavy coats, gloves and hats are all appropriate for cold temperatures and will keep them warm and dry, preventing hypothermia and frostbite. Wear non-slip shoes to avoid falling on ice or snow.

Remove snow and ice – Before work has started, employers should spread sand or salt on icy areas and ensure that ice is chipped away. Though it may be a hassle, it can greatly reduce the risk of falls.

Review work sites every day – Before work begins, supervisors should survey the area to ensure no new hazards were formed while workers were away. Common hazards include ice accumulation or downed power lines and trees.

Safety on-site is always a concern but, in winter, it is best to be extra vigilant. Taking these steps will help to minimise winter risks on a construction site.

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