As the temperature drops, construction workers must take extra precautions to stay safe on the job site. Not only can cold weather pose a physical threat, but it can also impact the equipment and materials you are using.
Let’s look at six safety tips to keep in mind for cold-weather construction projects to avoid incidents and injuries.
Wear the Right Gear
When working in cold weather, it’s important to dress in layers. Wear a base layer of synthetic material—such as polyester—to wick away sweat, a middle layer of fleece insulation, and an outer layer that’s waterproof and windproof. Don’t forget to wear gloves, boots, and a hat that also work well for cold weather, and always wear hi-vis gear you can see even in poor weather conditions.
Take Breaks Indoors
Working in the cold can be taxing on your body, so take breaks in the warm indoors. Drink lots of fluids, eat warm meals, and take the opportunity to warm your hands and feet. Not only will this help you avoid hypothermia, but it will also help you stay alert and focused on your work.
Be Careful of Ice and Snow
Ice and snow can make job sites dangerous. Pay attention when walking around, and use salt or sand on areas prone to icing over. If working at heights, be especially careful of ice buildup on scaffolding or roofs. Don’t take risks—if something doesn’t look safe, find another way to do the job.
Know the Signs of Hypothermia
Hypothermia is a real danger when working in cold weather. Look out for signs like shivering, confusion, drowsiness, slurred speech, and shallow breathing. Get indoors immediately if you start to experience any of them.
Use Extra Caution with Machinery
Cold weather can make machinery less reliable, so it’s important to use extra caution when operating tools or equipment in freezing temperatures. Inspect machinery before using it, and don’t hesitate to call for repairs if something doesn’t seem right. Stopping to fix a problem now is better than having an accident later.
Be Prepared for Power Outages
Windy conditions can lead to power outages, so it’s always good to have a backup plan in case of an outage. Charge all your batteries ahead of time and keep flashlights and candles on hand. Familiarize yourself with your company’s emergency procedures in case of an extended power outage.
By following these six safety tips, construction workers can stay safe while working in cold-weather conditions. And if you’re looking for the best safety gear, check out our hi-vis jackets from Hi Vis Safety. Our gear will keep you safe and visible on the jobsite. We have you covered if you need a new hat, gloves, or boots, so check out our selection of cold-weather gear today!