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Top Tips to Prepare for Construction Sites in the Winter

Colburn Law

Winter weather can bring a lot of risks to construction sites. Snow, ice, and dropping temperatures can put workers’ safety and comfort at risk. Unlike other industries, construction work cannot always afford to pause operations in colder weather. As a result, construction companies need to ensure that their winter job sites are safe.

There are several steps that construction workers and employers can take to prepare their job sites for the winter. Implementing proper fall protection, reducing worker exposure to below-freezing weather, and storing equipment properly can go a long way in preventing cold weather accidents and injuries.

#1: Reduce Workers’ Exposure to Extreme Cold

Freezing temperatures can lead to serious medical conditions like frostbite, hypothermia, and trench foot. Prolonged exposure to extreme cold can increase the risk of these emergencies, especially for employees who are not accustomed to this type of weather. 

To reduce the risk of these conditions, construction companies should take steps to reduce workers’ exposure to freezing temperatures. Reschedule any work that needs to take place in low temperatures if possible. If employees need to work in the cold, keep workers on shorter shifts and set up warming stations with hot drinks that can be accessed during breaks.

Construction employees should also dress in warm clothing to avoid these dangerous complications. Dress in layers and wear warm socks, hats, gloves, and boots. 

Top Tips to Prepare for Construction Sites in the Winter

#2: Warn Employees of Potential Fall Hazards

During the winter, snow and ice can increase the risk of a slip-and-fall accident. These incidents can be very dangerous under any circumstances, especially on construction sites. Employees can fall off scaffolding or be injured by surrounding equipment and tools during a slip and fall, which can lead to serious injuries.

To lower the risk of these accidents on winter construction sites, companies should warn workers of the hazard. Employees should wear proper winter footwear with adequate traction to avoid slipping. Additionally, employers should encourage workers to take shorter steps and walk slower to reduce the chances of a fall.

#3: Keep an Eye on Construction Materials

Colder weather can affect the structural integrity of materials like concrete, drywall, paint, and bricks. When the temperatures drop, projects involving these materials can take much longer and may even fail without proper preparation and precautions. 

Placing warming equipment near these materials can help protect them from the cold. Sheeting and enclosures may also be necessary to perform these tasks properly. Additionally, construction workers should allot more time for these projects to avoid failures and potentially dangerous conditions.

Injured in a Construction Accident? Speak to an Attorney

Although these tips can help reduce the risk of a construction accident, serious injuries can still happen. If you were injured while working on a construction site, it is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

A Washington construction accident attorney can help you file a workers’ compensation claim or lawsuit and recover a fair settlement for your damages. These claims can be very complex, so having an attorney guide you through the process can be very beneficial and increase your chances of a successful outcome. After your accident, schedule a free consultation with a lawyer to discuss your case and learn more about your legal options.