Working construction during winter can be hazardous at best and downright dangerous in worst case scenarios. While snow and ice aren’t constantly present in Arkansas all winter long, these conditions are likely to be present at least once if not several times during an average winter season. And it’s bound to be quite cold for most of the winter, no matter the precipitation, so it’s best to plan for adverse conditions and be prepared to work safely.

Safety tips for working construction during the winter

Pay attention to weather forecasts.

Knowing is half the battle, or possibly more, when it comes to preparing for working in poor or dangerous weather. Checking the weather regularly can help you be sure that you wear and carry the appropriate gear so that you can protect yourself from the elements, especially when they are harsh.

Watch out for signs of illness or injury caused by prolonged exposure to cold temperatures.

Working for long periods of time in extremely cold weather can cause hypothermia, which can cause slurred speech, lack of coordination, shivering, and clumsiness. Staying properly dressed and wearing appropriate footwear are critical for avoiding this adverse health condition, which can cause dangerous accidents to occur if you continue working while experiencing its symptoms, especially clumsiness and lack of coordination.

Take regular breaks in a heated area.

Plan to take breaks in a heated area if at all possible. Supervisors should ensure that workers have access and permission to warm up when needed so that they can work safely and effectively even when the weather is poor.

Inspect work sites, especially if snow or ice has fallen recently.

Work sites should be inspected daily for dangerous conditions such as accumulated snow or ice. Any frozen accumulation should be cleared from the work site to diminish the hazards posed by workers slipping and falling.

Set and follow a winter weather dress code if needed.

Workers should wear layers if needed to protect them during especially harsh or damp days. This should include a moisture-wicking, insulating base layer and a waterproof outer layer. Workers should also wear waterproof, insulated boots with extreme traction, paired with warm socks, hats, and gloves with grips to handle equipment safely.

Drink warm beverages, but avoid drinks that are scalding hot or caffeinated.

It’s important to stay hydrated when working construction during the winter, and warm drinks are a great way to do this. But drinking too much coffee can cause a caffeine overload that can lead to shakiness or even increased heart rate. Be sure to drink water and sports beverages in addition to warm beverages in order to replace depleted electrolytes.

Redstone Construction Group is committed to facilitating safe worksites for its team members, so that projects can be completed for clients effectively and efficiently. Check out our career opportunities if you are interested in working construction, and contact us if you are looking to hire a high quality construction firm.