Winter safety tips for construction workers

Winter safety tips for construction workers

Winter in South Dakota can be a brutal season, especially for jobs, such as construction, that require people to be outside all of the time. Construction workers are exposed to all of the elements, whether it’s the sun beating down on them during summer, or the blizzard like conditions of winter. Each season presents its own type of elements that are important to take caution against, and winter is no different. It is crucial to stay safe in the winter, so here are a few tips for construction workers to keep in mind while out in the winter elements.

Stay Hydrated It’s easy to know in the summer when you should drink water, however, the winters can be deceiving. It is just as important to stay properly hydrated in the winter as it is in the summer. Stay away from coffee while out in the field because the caffeine can increase your heartrate and easily deceive you into thinking that you are warm and will want to remove layers, which is not safe in subzero temperatures. Drink water to stay properly hydrated.

Wear Proper Gear It is important to wear the proper gear while working out in the cold. This includes gloves, hats, warm coats, warm pants, and boots that will keep you not only warm, but dry to help prevent hypothermia and frostbite. Frostbite can set in quickly, so it’s important to dress appropriately to prevent it.

Limit Exposure to the Elements While it is unavoidable to be outside if you work in the construction industry, it is possible to limit the time spent outside. If temperatures are too low and the wind is too fierce, it’s not worth putting your life and your crew’s life in jeopardy. Break large outside jobs up into smaller pieces and do a bit at a time so crews don’t need to be outside for too long and they can move inside to other projects.

Have a Warm Break Area It is important to have an area set aside to take regular breaks that is warm and can allow workers to warm up before heading back outside. This is a good time to rehydrate. Whether the area is a heated trailer or simply a tent with portable heaters, it’s important to give workers a chance to warm up.

Double Check Equipment The cold can sometimes affect the way that equipment works, or in some cases, doesn’t work. Make sure to clear all snow and ice off of equipment and give it plenty of time to warm up. If you notice a problem with equipment, report it to your supervisor immediately to ensure that it is working properly and nobody gets harmed by it. It is especially important to clear snow and ice off of ladders before using them.

Often times being out in the cold while working on a construction project is unavoidable. Taking the proper precautions can ensure that the project not only gets done on time, but also safely.