Construction workers do not have the luxury of working indoors when the weather turns bad. They go to work whether it is snowing or not. As dangerous as it is working construction in the summer the danger aspect of the job jumps dramatically when the weather turns cold. To help understand and minimize construction accidents during the winter months here are some things to watch out for and how to avoid them.
Identifying Hazards at the Worksite
Jobs that require people to work high in the air are always a great risk. Compound this with cold, slippery conditions and the risk is greatly increased.
Keep an eye out for trip hazards. This can include electrical cords that are being used, scrap wood, pipes, scaffolding pieces, and any other items that are left in walk areas. Also be on the lookout for ice buildup which can cause people to slip and fall.
Watch out for holes that could potentially cause workers to go off balance.
If there is construction machinery on the worksite, people can be hit by the equipment or even run over.
Frostbite is always a danger when working in cold weather.
Power tools that are not used properly can be a real danger to construction workers. Any worker not trained on a saw may get distracted and end up cutting himself.
Way to Avoid Hazards at the Worksite
When working high off the ground install handrails for people to grab ahold of when climbing up and down. Have a clearly marked walkway that is clear of construction tools and other things that can cause someone to fall to the ground.
Have an organized work zone to minimize trip hazards. Tape and secure cords to the ground that run through work zone walkways. Keep ice patches well salted to avoid slips and falls.
Keep the ground level and all holes clearly marked or filled in. This can help people avoid twisting an ankle or breaking a foot.
Avoid walking through the machinery zones without wearing a safety vest.
Wear the proper clothing when working outside. Buy insulated gloves for hands and wear insulated boots with steel toes in them to avoid accidental exposure.
Train all employees on how to use certain piece of equipment like drills, band saws and even electrical sanders.