3 Winter Safety Tips For Construction Workers

Posted on: 16 December 2014

Winter provides its own unique challenges to those in the construction trade. This is especially true in climates where it gets really frigid. While your crew may not be able to work in a blizzard, there is little to keep them off the job once it stops snowing. Barring a local state of emergency that keeps everyone home, you must assume you are going to be working in cold weather. Projects have deadlines that have to be kept, after all. You can help keep your crew safe in the cold by instituting these three important winter weather safety tips.

1. Provide Frequent Short Breaks to Warm Up

Your workers can start to develop cold-related injuries even if they are wearing multiple layers of warm clothing. The mere fact of being out in the frigid weather means they are at risk. Minimize this risk by providing everyone with frequent short breaks so they can go warm up.

You can do this on a rotating schedule, so you always have people working while others are resting. During their warm-up breaks, your crew can dry out their snow-soaked clothes, get some hot beverage or soup, or just huddle around a heater . . . whatever they feel they need. This will also help your workers avoid becoming exhausted, because their bodies need extra energy to function well in the cold.

2. Schedule Work for the Warmest Part of the Day

If you have any leeway in making your schedule for your crew, you should schedule work for the warmest part of the day. This is true even if the warmest part of the day is only 0 degrees F.

Set the schedule for when the sun is at the highest point in the sky, so as much light as possible is beaming down on them. Even though it's cold, being in the direct sunlight will keep them warm as they generate additional body heat through their labor.

3. Keep Equipment Areas Clear of Snow

Anywhere that tools and equipment are kept should be free of snow and ice. This gives your workers easier access to the things they need, from screwdrivers to concrete warming blankets. Talk to a professional like Powerblanket for tips on how to store equipment properly.

The easier it is for your workers to get to the things they need, the less energy they will expend on tasks that don't involve actual construction. It makes for a safer, more efficient cold weather work site.

Conclusion

It doesn't take much to keep your workers safe and productive during cold weather. A few common sense safety tips and a little basic human courtesy go a long way toward making sure everyone stays healthy and the job gets done on time. If it's cold outside, start implementing these safety tips and keep everyone happy and working.

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