Tis the season to be careful. Although the holidays encourage colour and joy, the winter months also deliver icy roads, cold air and the high chance of snow fall. This means that outdoor workers such as construction employees are at risk of harming themselves due to the harsh conditions.
Below are 5 easy steps that help achieve safety in the work place during winter.
Monitor Weather Conditions
The main issues when it comes to construction work in the winter is the constant change of weather and temperature. As an employer and contractor, you will need to decide whether you can delay the job until the conditions improve. However, if you decide work can go ahead, you need to communicate local and up-to-date weather forecasts to your employees. This way you can adjust working patterns that are more desirable to your employees.
Provide protective clothing
Although protective clothing is important in all construction projects, it remains the most important factor any employer must be address during the winter months. Although it is not always a legal requirement to supply workers with uniforms and protective clothing, it is the employer’s responsibility to keep them safe and advise the best workwear for the sever conditions. Most employers will provide weather specific clothing and equipment, such as gloves, jackets, raincoats, sunglasses, headwear and scarves, if staff deem them necessary.
Like the famous saying goes, by failing to prepare you prepare to fail. Holding regular meetings to discuss overall safety and accident prevention is a great way to prepare for any issues winter may be bring. As an employer, you can begin to take some simple steps to help avoid workplace injuries and promote employee health. By encouraging staff to discuss any problems they may have including, sickness or issues with their working environment, this can allow you to help or eliminates by issue before it gets out of hand. You also need to train and inform workers about the risks to their health and safety, the preventive measures in place, and how to recognise signs of cold stress.
Fight the elements
The most common way to de-ice workplaces/ construction sites is gritting with rock salt, this is very similar to the products used on public roads and path. By applying salt, you stop the ice from forming and it can also be used to melt existing ice or snow. Due to constant lifting and use of heavy machinery, it is key that your workers feel confident to move and manoeuvre around the project sites with ease. You can buy bags of rock salt from most large builders’ merchants and is always something handy to have laying around for those surprise snow days you never see coming.
Rewards and Recognition
Finding the motivation to crawl out of your warm bed grows harder as the mornings get darker and the temperatures gets colder. Many construction workers will toy with the idea of ringing in sick or not turning up to work due to the harsh conditions. Although present at work, many construction workers may be yenning for warmth and home, which can lead to lack of work safety. Rewards are an easy way to encourage your workers to come to work motivated and ready to adhere to workplace safety. Giving out small rewards to employees who follow safety policies keeps them engaged—which can make a big difference in reducing your workplace injuries.