Building sites can be dangerous at any time of the year but especially in the winter season. Every year people are killed or injured on building sites, it is important that you take extra care for the safety of yourself and others.
Cold temperature exposures, injuries, and controls on construction sites
- Ensure that you are wearing suitable clothes and personal protective equipment. This is one of the most important precautions to reducing cold stress. It is best to wear three or more layers of clothes and you should also use layering to protect your feet, hands and head.
- Educate employees of cold-related stress symptoms, for example, severe fatigue, drowsiness, uncomfortable coldness and heavy shivering.
- Work in pairs when working in extreme weather conditions, this will allow you to monitor each other and obtain help quickly in the event of an emergency.
- Warm-up schedules should be used if required to provide periodic times for warm-up breaks. As the wind velocity increases and/or the temperature drops then additional breaks should be provided.
- Always drink plenty of fluid. In a cold environment thirst is suppressed and dehydration could occur when fluid intake is reduced.
- Engineering controls can be effective, for example, using heaters in areas, where practical, shielding work areas from winds and drafts, using insulating material on equipment handles, especially metal handles, etc.
- Increase calorie intake when working in cold environments. Workers in cold environments who wear heavy, protective clothing expend more heat and so require 10-15 percent more calories.
Dark and cloudy winter days with less sunlight than usual means that your brain produces more of a hormone called melatonin, which makes you sleepy. This can then cause lack of concentration and judgement. So please be aware that not all health and safety issues can be seen but can still be fatal.
Check out our Training Courses, and for any further help with your Health and Safety give us a call on 03456 122 144.