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Keeping construction workers safe in winter conditions

by | Jan 5, 2017 | Construction Injuries, Workplace Safety

Construction workers are well aware of the dangerous conditions that they face every day. Heavy equipment, high heights and electrical wires are just a part of the career. When winter rolls around the job becomes much more hazardous. Construction workers and their employers must be aware of the dangers and how to keep everyone safe.

Slippery scaffolding can lead to deadly falls

Icy conditions are especially dangerous for builders. When temperatures drop scaffolding can become slippery. One wrong step can lead to a serious, if not deadly, fall. Not only does scaffolding become icy but it can be weighted down by accumulating snow. With the weight of the snow someone walking onto the surface could cause the entire scaffolding to collapse.

Keep construction workers safe in elevated work spaces by clearing walking areas of snow and ice. Spread several layers of deicer to break down slippery surfaces. No matter what always make sure that workers have the right gear. It is important to have insulated boots with rubber traction on the bottom. Make sure everyone has the appropriate safety gear to prevent falls. One wrong step without the right gear can make the difference between a bruise and death.

Road construction workers should be cautious of sliding cars

Road construction workers have to be on high alert during winter months in New York. Ice and snow build up on roads, creating slippery conditions for drivers. If a driver suddenly notices the construction signs and tries to break, ice could send them into a slide or spin. Many people do not know how to control their vehicle when it hits ice and will overcorrect. This will make the result even worse, sending them right into the work site.

It is hard to protect workers against drivers but it can help to properly set up work zones with traffic control signs, barrels, barriers and cones. Workers need to make sure they are wearing high visibility gear when they are working near roads. Winter days are shorter which can make it hard for drivers to see workers in the road.

Not everyone knows how to prepare for cold conditions

While people worry about heatstroke in the summer sun, they also need to be aware of the effects of cold winter conditions. A majority of construction workers in New York City are immigrants. These immigrant workers come from all around the world, in varying climate conditions. Some people might not be accustomed to the harsh winters in this state. Workers need to be aware of the layering and protective clothing that is necessary for working outside in the winter. Without it workers can be subject to hypothermia or frostbite.

Employers and managers can help improve safety for New York City construction workers in the winter by enforcing the right safety training and gear. Workers can help each other out by giving advice and pointing out unsafe working conditions.