Construction Sites: How to Prepare for Winter Weather

Construction Sites: How to Prepare for Winter Weather

Winter is nearly upon us again and with it comes plenty of cold weather, rain, and snow here in the Seattle area. Oftentimes, this season presents additional challenges for those who have to get around town and work in the exposed outdoors.

As we’ve discussed in some of our recent blogs, construction sites are inherently more dangerous. Since construction workers typically perform their jobs outside, this type of work is often a much more difficult and hazardous job when done in the winter weather. Below, we discuss some tips that construction managers can remember for the upcoming season in order to keep workers as safe as possible.

Minimize Exposure to Freezing Temperatures

The extreme cold affects everyone, even those who are accustomed to working in such conditions. To prevent frostbite, hypothermia, damaged blood vessels, and other dangerous bodily conditions, managers should ensure that all employees have proper attire for climate, including:

  • Multiple layers of clothing
  • External layers that can be detached or removed easily
  • Waterproof clothing
  • A wool cap that can reduce the risk of excessive heat loss
  • No cotton clothing

If weather conditions make the site hazardous, it may be necessary to reschedule any work to prevent potential health conditions or injuries on the job.

Remove Ice and Snow

Construction is dangerous enough under normal conditions, but the additional hazards of snow and ice can put workers at an increased risk of slip, trip, and fall accidents. Make sure that all ice is removed at the beginning of work and salt or sand is put in areas that are likely to freeze over again.

All workers should be required to wear adequate footwear that reduces the risks of slips and increases traction on the ground. Encourage workers to take slower, smaller steps to maintain balance if there are any slippery areas.

Train Workers on Winter Illnesses and Injuries

Knowing the warning signs of cold-related illnesses, injuries, and bodily conditions is crucial. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides a cold stress card that can serve as a valuable tool and resource for workers who are performing jobs in cold conditions.

Managers should ensure that all workers are properly trained in the information on this card, including the signs of frostbite, hypothermia, and trench foot and what to do if someone is experiencing any symptoms. Lastly, encourage workers to monitor themselves and other workers and report any potential dangers so everyone stays safe on site.

With all that said, if you are injured in a construction accident at any point in time, please know that Kornfeld Law is here to stand in your corner during these trying times. Our head attorney, Rob Kornfeld, knows what it’s like to be injured and understands that your recovery is dependent upon obtaining the full compensation you need to pay for your damages.

Our Seattle legal team is standing by ready to review your case for free and craft a personalized legal strategy for your unique accident case.

Contact Kornfeld Law at (425) 657-5255 or fill out our online contact form to get started on your case today.


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