The winter months can be both difficult and dangerous for scaffolding and construction workers, so it’s always a good time to reiterate and highlight the importance of on-site safety. With a drop in temperature and frequent icy conditions, illnesses and accidents are more likely to occur. Therefore, we have come up with some ways to help protect you and your co-workers during the winter season, and raise general safety awareness.
1. Take Care in the Cold
This may seem like an obvious one, but cases of frostbite, hypothermia and even trench foot are surprisingly common within the construction industry during the winter period. Site managers should create warm areas to provide respite for workers when the temperatures are low.
There should also be guidelines on what to wear—protective, thermal clothing should be a requirement, and gloves should be worn to prevent frostbite from attacking exposed fingers. Having cold hands can also mean that you’re more likely to drop tools when working at height, so getting safety lanyards for your equipment can help prevent this. The RidgeGear RTLE1 Elastic Tool Lanyard can support tools up to 5kg, and is a worthy investment.
2. Prevent Falls Caused by Icy Conditions
Surfaces that are going to be walked on should be cleared of any ice or snow—either by using tools, or grit that will help it melt. Having appropriate signage is also important, especially when there is black ice. It helps make workers aware of the potential dangers and allows them to act accordingly.
Furthermore, a secure arrest block is essential at this time of year. Attached to a fall arrest harness, the block contains an almost instant ‘lock off’ in the event of a fall, which means you don’t have to worry if you slip on ice or snow. We recommend the RidgeGear RGA Fall Arrest Block, which can protect you from heights of up to 2.5 metres—the ultimate fall protection.
3. Light Up
With winter comes darkness, so it’s very important that your scaffolding and work areas are brightly lit. We offer a Scaffolding Light that will turn itself on and off by reacting to light levels accordingly. The compact flashing light unit can be easily fitted to scaffolding tubes and various other types of material, making it incredibly versatile.
Lights are not only essential in making equipment and hazards more visible, they are also an important way of keeping workers awake. Our bodies are naturally more alert during the daytime, so when it goes dark, having as much lightening as possible could reduce risks relating to tiredness.
Need More Construction or Scaffolding Supplies?
We hope this guide has given you some good ideas on protecting yourself during the cold months.
Here at George Roberts, we stock high-quality products based on our industry knowledge. We’ve been established for over 25 years, and are proud to offer hundreds of competitively-priced items, with great customer service, a high standard of safety and the option of next day delivery.
You can browse and purchase all of our scaffolding tools and accessories here.