Some weather conditions simply make things more dangerous. Snow makes driving tougher. Ice makes it difficult to walk on the sidewalks. Even heavy amounts of wind can ruin your yard and house. The same harmful weather conditions also make construction worker?s jobs harder and less safe. Although safety precautions need to be in place all year long, a specialized increment weather safety plan should also be known.
Create plan based on needs The specific type of harmful weather conditions to prepare for will depend on the state of the project. Southern states will probably not get much snow fall, but are more likely to get extreme windy conditions. Northern states may experience both, depending on the season of the project. Most construction workers work all year long, regardless of the weather or the temperature.
Require training A good basis is important when creating a weather specific safety plan. Your employees will not understand how being extra careful during high winds is if they are not aware of any of the fall protection system. Before allowing your employees to operate equipment such as crane service, ensure that they complete a crane training or OSHA fall protection training course.
The course should be OHSA regulated. OSHA is responsible for regulating occupational safety positions, such as construction and project manager workers. OHSA uses a three step process to prevent dangerous falls and save lives. The steps are plan, provide and train. OHSA also has specific requirements, depending on the specific job and the type of equipment that will be operated. However, the OSHA fall protection training is a good start, allowing you to build from it.
Use sturdy safety nets Safety nets are helpful for high elevations. In fact, OHSA requires that fall protection be provided at elevations of four feet in general industry workplaces, five feet in shipyards, six feet in the construction industry and eight feet in long shoring operations. If you and your workers will be completing a job outdoor in troublesome weather, consider lowering the requirement for the safety net. Ice and wind can cause slippery conditions and can cause more falls to occur.
Inspect equipment before and after harmful weather conditions The weather can put extra load onto the equipment and the safety additions. In addition to OSHA fall protection training, you will also want all of your equipment to be OHSA inspected before and after increment weather conditions. Slings should generally be inspected yearly for normal service use, and monthly to quarterly for sever service use.
Fall arrest training courses are almost pointless if the equipment is not safe to handle. Although OSHA fall protection training courses enrolls fall protection competent person training students, they are taught about safe handling practices. In many cases, they are not even educated on how to correct or remain safe when equipment is not properly working. It is your job, as the project manager, to ensure that all of your employees have access to safe equipment.
Only allow employees with multiple trainings in dangerous conditions It is likely that you have multiple construction members. It can be tempting to use whoever shows up, even for the more riskiest of the jobs. However, the employees who are climbing multiple stories or the workers who are consistently operating heavy equipment should only be the workers who have the most fall protection training. This will reduce the amount of accidents on your job site.
Know when to cancel work Some construction jobs are under strict deadlines. However, a strict deadline is never worth an injury or an accident on the job. Know when to cancel the job for the day. Know when weather conditions will simply make the job too dangerous to continue. You can always call in extra workers the next day.
Many states across the country experience difficult winter weather conditions. Even the states that do not, have their own source of dangerous weather. Dangerous weather conditions can make the tasks of a construction worker even harder and more dangerous. Consider additional training, lowering fall protection requirements, and only working in acceptable conditions for the safety of your construction workers.