It is that time of the year when temperatures begin to drop towards freezing levels, especially during early morning hours in outdoor environments.
This type of weather presents hazards including slippery surfaces, exposure to frostbite, physical fatigue, delayed reaction time and distractions from focusing on the task-at-hand. It also increases hazards associated with driving due to poor road/surface conditions and strong winds.
Construction workplaces often present more severe cold/freeze conditions when working on open slabs, in exposed buildings and on roofs (even when working in an enclosed building where roof work is conducted). Work teams in this industry need to be aware of these risks and be proactive in helping to prevent illnesses and injuries presented by cold weather conditions. Risk factors from exposure to cold weather are amplified due to wetness/dampness, improper clothing and exhaustion.
Your work teams can help reduce this threat by making sure that all crew members are trained in identifying and addressing cold stress symptoms, are monitoring each other during cold weather conditions, have scheduled breaks to help restore normal core body temperatures and can “stop the line” at any time if conditions are severe.
Want more information on ways to help prevent injuries and illnesses associated with cold weather? Check out the following link: