The temperatures are dropping even further, and the weather is becoming worse. The construction industry already has a lot to take into consideration when thinking about on-site health and safety, which can only be intensified as cold weather, dark nights and an unpredictable winter occurs, bringing extra challenges for construction sites.
To help construction sites prepare for this winter we put together out top tips to combat winter and stay up and running in a safely manner.
As always, the UK’s weather can be all the 3 U’s: Unpredictable, Unstable & Uncontrolled. But one thing we can control is how we manage our businesses to ensure employees and others health and safety is put first. Planning ahead is a key aspect which should eliminate any accidents to occur.
1. Reduce Risk:
Number one priority should be keeping your staff safe. Carrying out regular risk assessments should eliminate surprises and have the team prepared. By surveying the construction site and assessing it for new hazards, you can evaluate whether employees should be working and what actions you can take to avoid accidents.
HSE states, Risk assessment is an essential part of effective health and safety management and involves five stages:
• Identify the hazards
• Decide who might be harmed and how
• Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions
• Record the findings and implement them
• Review the risk assessment and update if necessary
2. Stay tuned in:
Staying tuned into regular weather updates will ensure your staff are working in the correct conditions. Monitor the temperature and make sure you know when it’s safe for workers to be outside. Draw up an action plan and be ready to implement it the moment bad weather is forecast. Be wary of ice, slips, trips & falls are the most common cause for accidents and can only get worse in bad weather.
3. Keep track of equipment:
No matter what, care should always be taken around equipment and vehicles. By keeping track of equipment, you must always check tyre pressure, brakes, batteries and wipers are in good working condition before using. Having things on hand like salt, torches, ice scrapers, shovels, and blankets are also key for sudden changes to weather conditions.
4. Educate team members:
As always, a focus of Health & Safety should be that employees are all trained up on it themselves. Educate workers on the signs and symptoms of aspects that could go wrong in cold weather such as hypothermia.
Keep employees engaged and updated constantly when undergoing risk assessments.
5. The right gear:
It is integral to stay warm during the winter months, especially for construction workers who find themselves outdoors plenty of the time. Ensuring staff are dressed appropriately is a huge must, encourage your team to wear layers, windproof, waterproof clothing with appropriate hats/ headwear and gloves.
Winter always brings new challenges, but ensuring you plan carefully, keep employees trained up and implement safety measures you will minimise accidents and risks to ensure your site is run safely.
Fusion can support key areas that trouble construction. We can help you reduce risk via MyDocuments, stay tuned in via MyWeather, and maintain efficiency on equipment, the right gear and educating team members through other aspects of our platform. To find out more request a free demo now.