Winter Safety on Construction Sites
Construction doesn’t take a break in the winter so it’s important at this time of year to think about the additional hazards that are present at jobsites due to winter weather and the corresponding safety precautions that need to be taken. Cold temperatures, wet weather, and frigid winds can take a drastic toll on the human body. Brush up on your knowledge of cold weather maladies such as frost bite, hypothermia and trench foot. OSHA provides a Cold Stress Card that describes how to prevent and treat these serious illnesses.
Pay special attention during the winter months at your construction site to avoid safety hazards. Take time throughout the day, every day, to walk through the jobsite and look for hazards created by snow and ice. Keep an eye on walkways, work platforms, scaffolds, stairs and ladders. Carefully remove icicles, especially if temperatures are beginning to warm. If this isn’t possible, rope off the area under the icicles until they are no longer a hazard. When removing snow, don’t allow piles to get too high and block the view of workers in the area.
Portable heaters are necessary at times, however they can be very dangerous if not used appropriately. Have heaters inspected prior to the heating season to make sure they work properly; have repairs made if necessary. Place the heater on a sturdy, fire-resistant surface and make sure hoses are protected from damage and excessive heat. The area where the heater is being used must be properly ventilated to allow excess fumes to escape. Keep combustible materials 10-15 feet away from heaters. Propane and other flammable gas cylinders must be stored upright and chained.
Most importantly, use common sense when working outdoors during the winter months. Take care of yourself and those around you.
This information is provided as a service to you by Compliance Consultants, Inc.