Winter Safety Tips for Construction Workers
Working outdoors on heavy machinery is often challenging and risky business. Even though operators and workers take active measures to prevent accidents and hazards, it can still occur. This is the reason operator safety should be the top priority.
While operators face enough hazards working above-ground in favorable weather conditions, the risk factors significantly increase as the temperature drops.
The efficiency of operations plays a critical role in how your business performs, and one of the core values of construction business is “safety.” Companies should not only have the right processes and equipment in order to prevent hazards and injuries, but also should be aware of weather patterns and how to get prepared for it.
Even after the operators are properly dressed for the cold weather, frosty temperatures can hamper the safety factor. Workers should be aware of winter work hazards, such as:
- Strong winds can make the air feel colder than it is.
- Working in prolonged shifts in chilly weather conditions can cause operators to lose focus.
- Snow and ice can present a slippery platform that can make working on aerial lifts more dangerous. They can not only cause vision issues by fogging up safety goggles, but also cause the equipment to malfunction.
- Workers can lose their balance, and the lift can become unstable because of the high winds. This threat can increase when the lift is positioned on unstable ground, and snow will only make the situation worse.
Here are five tips to stay safe while working outdoors at construction sites:
Keep the Work Routes Clear Of Debris and Snow
Clear all snow from working and walking routes surfaces, including roofs, walkways, scaffolding, etc. Use sand or salt to melt ice patches and improve friction on the paths. Mark the areas clearly that is prone to danger and instruct workers to take shorter steps and slow down the lift speed, especially while carrying tools and materials to avoid slips.
Inspect the Machine’s Components
Freezing temperatures can impact the machine’s ability to perform. Machines that are battery-powered lose their strength, which in turn becomes harder to start. Overlooking the warning signs means you will be left out in the adverse climate.
Make sure to follow routine maintenance and provide workers aerial lift training to have them aware of the right handling and operating process. You can get started with AerialLiftCertification.com today to get the comprehensive training to maintain overall safety at work sites.
Step Up On Aerial Lifts Carefully
Falls are one of the most popular causes of injuries recorded by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The thumb rule to avoid experiencing falls is to follow a “3 point contact” while getting on or off of the lift and never jump.
The three Point Rule means maintaining three points of contact out of four with the equipment at all times – either feet and one hand or both hands and a foot. If the steps or handholds are damaged, make sure to replace them; it can prevent life-threatening injuries over time.
Stay Calm and Attentive
Operating heavy machines bring a unique set of challenges at times, even for experienced operators. So, avoid putting yourself in a situation where you feel uncomfortable to work in. Get out and check if everything around the work site is safe. Staying calm and attentive will help you to be more productive and will pose a positive work environment for everyone around you.
Do Not Compromise With the Safety
One of the sure-fix ways to stay safe while operating heavy machinery is wearing proper safety gear at all times. This means goggles, hard hats, fall gear, harness, and safety jackets.
As an employer/supervisor, it is your duty to protect your employees and come up with a winter-specific safety strategy and plan ahead to overcome winter-stress and work hurdles!