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WADE BUILDING SUPPLIES | SNOW COVERED MACHINERY ON A BUILDING SITE

Winter Safety on Construction Sites

The clocks going back by One Hour have significance for everyone, and on National Stress Awareness Day, The Construction Industry will be getting ready for the more severe Winter Months.

A construction site, large or small, is always full of potential hazards, but during the Shorter Days and Winter Weather, the risk of accidents and health issues for construction workers increases.

Whilst the Health and Safety Executive reported a decrease in Fatalities, construction has the highest number of fatalities throughout Industry Sectors, including Agriculture, Manufacturing and Transportation.

Common Construction Site Winter Hazards

During the cold weather, there are many challenges for Construction Sites and Workers to contend with.

  • Cold Temperatures

Whilst there are no official laws around working in cold environments, its important to understand how freezing temperatures will increase hazards on site including;

  • Occupational Health

  • Snow and Ice Hazards

  • Working Surfaces

  • Wet Conditions

  • Strong Winds

  • Equipment Failure

  • illnesses

  • Low Light

Your Constructions Sites priority is to protect the Public and all Workers when the temperatures drop.

WADE BUILDING SUPPLIES | CONSTRUCTION WORKERS IN THE COLD WEATHER LOOKING AT A SHEET OF PAPER

Protecting Workers during Cold Weather

We are forever grateful to our Construction Workers here in the UK, who are a hardy bunch, dedicated to their trade, and enduring Adverse Temperatures throughout the Year.

The Winter Months are a particularly tough time for Workers in an Industry where Mental Health is becoming more recognised due to a variety of Stress-Related Incidents among Workers.

Charities, including "Mates in Mind", are encouraging the Industry to change its culture and encourage employees to seek help if they are struggling with Mental Health.

Help and Training is also more accessible from Organisations including iHASCO. 

Awareness During Cold Temperatures

Shorter Days and Low Temperatures require awareness and preparation for many factors, including;

  • Cold Stress

Cold Stress is caused when an individual is exposed to colder environments, including Heavy Rain, Snow, Ice and Wind.

The early signs of Cold Stress include Confusion and Slower Reactions before Hypothermia can set in.

Workers should ensure they are wearing appropriate clothing, including personal protective equipment.

Instruct workers to Layer Clothing, and ensure wet clothing is removed and replaced to ensure the Body Temperature is regulated.

Provide employees with warm PPE and safety training to ensure on-site employees monitor their health conditions and co-workers.

Carry out Safety checks on all workers to ensure their clothing is adequate.

You should also provide workers with warm areas for regular breaks where hot drinks are available and ensure everything is working properly with adequate supplies.

WADE BUILDING SUPPLIES | CONSTRUCTION SITE WORKER IN SNOW

  • Site Safety

Keeping your Site Safe during the Winter Months will be more challenging.

But, with regular safety checks and early preparation, your Site will be Productive and effective throughout Winter.

Tips for keeping your Site Safe include;

  • Additional Adequate Lighting

  • Adequate Rock Salt or Grit

  • Clear Working Areas and Walkways

  • Stable Temporary Fencing and Signage

  • Shielding and Sheeting for Protection

  • Clear all Debris, including Heavy Leaf fall

  • Stable Ground for Construction Vehicles

  • Surface Water Management

  • Extra First Aid and Emergency Kits

  • Safety Harnesses and Safety Training

You are likely to carry out most of these checks all Year round, but these become more important during the Winter, and remember to keep an eye on the Weather Forecast. 

Conclusion

Winter is a big challenge for everyone involved in the Industry, with Safety and Wellness being more in focus than the Warmer Months.

Support is available throughout the Industry from various Organisations, including the HSE, which provides a Talking Toolkit to help prevent work-related stress.

Finally, on National Stress Awareness Day, checking in with a fellow worker, customer or family member can go a long way and will sometimes start a conversation about wellness and provide some support.

A Hot Cuppa and Industry Chat is sure to lift the spirits.

 

 

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