Construction work is already one of the most dangerous occupations, and winter weather can make it even more dangerous. Between damaged equipment and workers afflicted with cold-related injuries, wintry conditions like snow and frigid temperatures present a host of hazards that are absent in the warmer months. Although there are several practices you can utilize to protect your jobsite and workers alike during the winter months, we’ve outlined just a few simple tips to put safety first on your jobsite this season below. Should you have any further questions about how you can prevent injuries, illnesses, and fatalities during this winter, get in touch with a Michigan OSHA defense attorney from Cotney Construction Law.
1. Take Care of Your Cranes
Winter conditions like freezing temperatures, blowing snow, and ice can easily damage cranes and considerably shorten their lifespan. To avoid expensive delays, breakdowns, and incredibly dangerous accidents, you’ll want to consider the following precautions:
- Pay close attention to your battery as cold weather can cause corrosion
- Add fuel conditioner to the machine, making sure to match the fuel conditioner to the type of fuel you’re using
- Check for ice before starting up the machine in the brake area, throttle, and exhaust
- Limit the amount of hours your crane is in operation and the maximum load your crane can carry
2. Make Use of Temporary Heating Equipment
Whether to prevent frozen water pipes or maintain the temperature necessary for materials to set, the cold weather season is a time when many construction professionals opt to use temporary heating equipment. However, if temporary heating devices are not installed or operated appropriately, it can pose a serious threat of fire to your construction project. This is why it’s so important to select the right heater and include its use and precautions within your site-specific safety plan. This will ensure that any heaters are being used safely and your workers are protected from potential harm.
3. Remove Snow and Ice
It goes without saying that snow and ice are major safety hazards on construction sites. Before any work is started on a jobsite for the day, it’s your responsibility as an employer to ensure that any snow and ice is removed as soon as possible to prevent serious injury to your workers. No matter how time-sensitive the project is, construction workers should also never work on scaffolding that is covered in snow or ice. As for removing the snow, you can either shovel the snow yourself or use powered equipment like snow blowers. No matter which method you use, it’s important to follow precautions for avoiding cold stress and injury like taking breaks, turning the snow blower off before attempting to clear a jam, and warming up before the activity. If you need any further assistance preventing winter weather related hazards, don’t hesitate to contact a Michigan OSHA defense lawyer from Cotney Construction Law.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.