Safety Tips for Winter Construction

When the weather turns cold, most people want to stay indoors as much as possible. But if you run a construction business, you know that work doesn’t end just because the weather changes. For a manager, that means finding ways to make sure your business stays productive. More importantly, you need to keep your workers safe. These safety tips for winter construction are here to help.

Keeping Workers Warm

If you work in construction, sometimes you can’t avoid the cold. But workers who contract hypothermia and frostbite can endanger both themselves and those around them by increasing the likelihood of accidents. This is especially true if a worker is operating a forklift or other heavy equipment. As a manager, make sure workers know the signs of cold weather-related illnesses and offer warming areas where they can take a momentary break.

Prioritize Inspections

Accidents don’t only occur when a worker becomes impaired due to the cold. With increased snow and ice coverage, travel by foot and vehicle can become more challenging. Be sure to conduct site inspections every morning before work begins, especially if it is dark when work starts. Clear snow and make sure to salt icy areas.

Accidents can also result from cold weather impacting equipment. Freezing temperatures can cause several heavy equipment problems, including:

  • Cracked tires
  • Broken rubber seals
  • Hydraulic fluid freezing
  • Decreased fuel efficiency
  • Damage to batteries

If you want to avoid these issues, you should inspect equipment regularly and report any irregularities.

Have Emergency Plans

Even with our best efforts, accidents and emergencies are simply more common in the winter, and promoting winter construction safety requires contingency plans.

Managers should monitor weather conditions daily and be prepared to inform workers when it isn’t safe to work. Similarly, if a worker becomes injured due to the weather or an accident, you should have a plan to get them the help they need. This not only keeps workers safe, but also helps keep productivity high, even when the weather turns frigid.

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Written by Emma Radebaugh

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