Construction projects run year-round. From residential remodels to corporate constructs, the industry works through heavy rains, oppressive heat, and severe snowstorms. Though we don’t have to worry about employees suffering from heat-related syndromes (like heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke) in the dead of winter, there are a number of other major risks that occur in the bitter season; here are three of them.
- Cold stress: Temperatures near or below freezing (or exceptionally strong and constant winds) can wreak havoc on the both the body’s external and internal systems. Frostbite, trench foot, and even hypothermia (if the internal body temp drops below 95 degrees) can occur with enough exposure. If you’re running an outdoor construction site, make sure your workers have access to a warm and insulated area to recover.
- Falls: Everyone knows that ice is slippery. On top of the fact that your workers may become seriously injured (especially if the ice is concealed by snow), your company could be held liable for any accidents that occur. Add in the fact that many construction workers are often hauling equipment or materials around, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster on your hands. Do your best to ensure that areas are kept warm and snow-free, or at the very least are well-salted.
- Snow removal: Outdoor construction can be difficult if you never get a break from the weather. Snowstorms happen, and with relative frequency in the winter months; your site will most likely need to be cleared of any snow buildups on a consistent basis. Any worker tasked with brushing snow off of roofs, decks, or scaffolding will be exposed to higher risks. Do your best to limit these by ensuring workers are wearing fall-protective gear, and use snow removal methods (like long-handled snow rakes) that do not require workers to put themselves in danger.
Snow and ice pose serious threats in construction sites throughout long, harsh winters, but the comfort of your workers — and their internal body temperature — is equally as important. By finding temporary heating for construction (such as propane heater rentals), you can ensure that no frostbite, slips, or spills occur; from HVAC rentals to rental heaters, temporary heating solutions are available regardless of location or need.