5 Tips for Preparing a Construction Site for Winter

  • Guest Blog
  • 2 years ago

Winter makes construction all the more difficult, whether you’re dealing with ice on the roads or clearing snow so you can get back to work. Businesses have to keep employees warm in addition to keeping them safe since shutting down for the season is rarely an option. Here are five tips for preparing a construction site for winter. We’ll focus on practical tips nearly everyone can use.

Slip Prevention Is Paramount

Fall protection in construction generally refers to protecting the employee on scaffolding several stories off the ground. However, that becomes much more dangerous when the scaffold has ice on it or a roof is frozen over. And the cold weather means everyone on the ground could slip and fall, too, on the ice at ground level. Remind employees to wear footwear with sufficient traction. Reminding people to go slow and take short steps reduces the risk.

Recognize How Temperature Affects the Work Schedule

When things get cold, tasks like drywall finishing, painting, concrete and masonry work can take much longer. Renting a few construction site heaters will allow you to do dry your drywall faster, heat damp areas and prevent your supplies and equipment from freezing. Recognize what tasks may take longer when the weather gets cooler. Make certain that a construction task is truly finished before you move on to the next activity.

Keep Exposure to Freezing Temperatures to a Minimum

Cold weather brings the risk of hypothermia and a number of related health problems. This can range from frostbite to hypothermia to trench foot. Workers who aren’t used to the freezing weather are at particular risk since they’re more prone to health emergencies due to cold stress. Consider discussing appropriate clothing for the weather and make sure everyone has essentials like insulated boots and hats. Keep a stack of blankets on hand for when someone needs it.

Rescheduling work is one solution, such as moving work to the warmest part of the day. Give people warm drinks during breaks. Shortening work shifts to minimize their exposure to the cold is a good option. You could reduce the chill by renting heaters that warm things up, too. Monitor the weather and keep people inside if it is simply too dangerous to be up on that frozen roof.

Remove Ice and Snow Safely

Shovelling snow is physically demanding, and that’s especially true for those not used to such a workout. Because the body responds to the cold by restricting blood flow to extremities, this increases the odds of both cardiac problems and general injuries. If someone has risk factors that increase the chance they’d have a heart attack, give the task to someone else.

Make Sure Vehicle Operators Are Safe, Too

When someone is driving a vehicle for work, whether it is a pickup truck or an 18-wheeler, make sure they’ll be safe. Make certain that tires and headlights are in full working condition before the driver leaves. Ensure that everyone has water bottles, food and blankets stocked in the vehicle so they will be able to stay safe if stranded on the side of the road for a couple of hours.

Health and safety of the construction crew should always be a top priority, but the job becomes that much harder when the thermometer plunges. Take the time to prepare your team and your worksite to keep everyone safe.