Winter construction safety tips

Construction sites are already thought of as some of the most dangerous job sites in America. It's a hazardous industry, leading to many injuries and fatalities every year.

In the winter, the risks just increase. There are cases where work must go on, regardless of snow, ice and other weather conditions. Below are a few safety tips from the Occupational Safety and Healthy Administration (OSHA).

  • Workers need to have proper footwear with excellent insulation and good traction for slick surfaces.
  • Workers may want to consider water resistant gear, as well.
  • Employers should give workers fall protection gear whenever they're working at heights, understanding that fall risks are greater.
  • Workers should not rush, but may need to slow down to stay safe. For example, slip-and-fall accidents are less likely for those who take short, careful steps.
  • Before using ladders and other such devices, workers must clear away all ice and snow. They also need to make sure these devices are positioned on safe surfaces.
  • Working too long in the cold, or working to extreme physical exertion, is very dangerous and should be avoided.
  • Any time workers are near power lines, they must be very careful.

Everything on that list is important, but employers should take special note of the tip not to rush or hurry. This is a production business. Results are important. That often makes people want to rush, but it's just not worth it when workers could be injured or killed as a result.

Those who are hurt on the job need to know their legal options as they find themselves missing work and being given extensive medical bills.

Source: OSHA, "Winter Weather," accessed Jan. 05, 2018

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