Winter Safety Tips for Construction WorkersJanuary 11, 2023
Construction is a dangerous occupation at any time of year, but winter poses specific weather-related safety hazards for employees. Following these tips can help prevent winter-related workplace injuries and illnesses:
- Monitor the weather forecast: Both employers and employees should check the weather forecast regularly so that they are not caught off guard when storm conditions arise. Work cannot be performed on construction sites during blizzards, hail, fog, high winds, or other dangerous weather. On extremely cold days, time outside should be limited.
- Training: Employees should know the signs and symptoms of winter-related injuries and illnesses, such such as frost bite, hypothermia, and trench foot. Uncontrolled shivering, slurred speech, clumsiness, and lack of coordination are all symptoms of hypothermia, and emergency help should be called for immediately.
- Wear proper gear: In winter, workers need to be dressed properly to prevent cold-related injuries and illnesses. Staying dry is an essential part of preserving body heat. Workers should dress in layers with a base layer that is insulating and moisture wicking and an outer layer that is waterproof. Protect extremities by wearing warm socks with insulated waterproof boots and waterproof hats and gloves.
- Stay hydrated: Despite the cold temperatures, dehydration can occur in cold weather when workers dressed to stay warm are perspiring from exertion. They often do not consider rehydrating because of the winter weather. Replenishing fluids in cold weather is important for staying well.
- Take breaks to warm up: Construction workers should have a heated area for breaks, such as tents or trailers with portable heaters. Here, they can rehydrate with a warm drink and recover from exposure to the elements before returning to work.
- Watch out for slippery areas: Snow and ice should be removed from the worksite. Slip and falls are one of the most common workplace accidents, and in winter, they happen when snow and ice accumulate. Daily inspections of the worksite should be conducted to identify icy patches before work begins.
- Use the buddy system: Workers can team up to hold each other accountable for staying hydrated, taking regular breaks, keeping dry, and checking for signs of cold-related injury or illness.
Winter weather is a serious threat to construction workers and should be taken seriously.
Delaware County Work Injury Lawyer at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello Fights for the Rights of Injured Construction Workers During the Winter
Every worker has the right to a safe work environment, including during the cold winter months. If you have been injured and need help getting your Workers’ Compensation benefits, contact our experienced Delaware County work injury lawyer at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello. Call us at 610-892-4940 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation. Located in Media, Pennsylvania, we serve clients in Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Lancaster, Montgomery County, Norristown, Philadelphia, Reading, and West Chester, Pennsylvania.