Follow These Winter Safety Tips for Construction Workers
What temperature do construction workers stop working? For some, the answer is “never.” While it’s not unusual for companies in many parts of the country to put projects on hold during the winter months, there are skilled tradespeople and laborers who work outdoors all year long, even in places that get snow and ice.
If you’re one of the workers who doesn’t stop when the temperatures plummet, make sure to read up on winter construction safety topics so you’re prepared to stay warm and safe. Here are a few winter safety tips for construction workers from PeopleReady Skilled Trades.
5 Winter Construction Site Safety Tips
- Wear the right gear. Wearing several loose-fitting layers is a great way to keep yourself warm throughout the day. But when it comes to the layer next to your skin, skip cotton, which can absorb sweat, and go for a thin wool or silk layer. Top off your layered look with a warm waterproof jacket. Keep your feet warm and dry with insulated waterproof footwear. If you wear a hardhat, make sure it’s lined. When it comes to winter construction work gloves, choose a pair that not only protect your hands and keep them warm, but also give you full range of motion. Pack extra items—just in case you get wet!
- Warm up. We mean warm up on a couple of different levels. First, stretch and warm up before you start your shift—and also take time to warm yourself throughout the day, whether that’s in a heated trailer or tent or another area that’s out of the elements.
- Be mindful. Protecting yourself from falls on construction sites is important year-round, but in the winter months you have an extra threat: Ice. Keep the three points of contact rule top of mind: Make a triangle of anchor points with your body, keeping your center of gravity at the middle, by having three of your limbs make contact with whatever you’re mounting or dismounting, whether that’s a ladder, a vehicle or heavy equipment.
- Slow down. When you’re on the jobsite, particularly if snow and ice are present, take short steps and slow your pace so you can react quickly if you hit a slippery spot. Another tip beyond wearing well-insulated boots: Choose footwear with good traction.
- Use caution. This goes without saying, but it’s a good reminder, particularly if your job requires you to work on roofs or other elevated places. Make sure to clear snow and ice from ladders, overhead platforms, elevated workstations and other surfaces. And always keep your fall protection training in the forefront of your mind.
PeopleReady Skilled Trades is committed to keeping you safe all year long, not just when you’re doing winter jobs for construction workers. Sharing these construction safety tips is just one example. But we also have safety processes and procedures in place for all of our skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen, from our Right Match Dispatch philosophy, which matches you with work that fits your skill level and experience, to our BeSafe Program, which ensures you work safely across a project’s entire lifecycle.
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