ARE YOU WINTER READY?

It’s winter and with winter comes cold and snow. Are you ready?

Dutch construction road sign in winter

Whether you work indoors or out, exposure to the cold can cause serious health problems. As the temperature dips, your risk of cold- related illnesses and health problems are often preventable. Some illnesses and health problems if left untreated can have significant consequences and even death.

How to Prevent Cold Exposure:

  • Wear layers of clothing, making use of air trapped in the layers as an insulating factor.
  • Synthetic fabrics worn next to the skin wick away sweat.
  • If the environment is wet and cold, ensure the outer layer of clothing is waterproof or water-resistant.
  • Have a change of clothing readily available.
  • Use hats or hoods to prevent heat loss from the head.

The best protection against cold-related health risks is to be aware and be prepared.  Workers should recognize the signs and symptoms of overexposure in themselves and others.  Pain in the extremities may be the first warning sign.  Anyone shivering severely should come in out of the cold.

Civil Engineers At Construction Site In Winter Season

CELL PHONES ON SITE

20 years ago, owning a cell phone was a true, expensive luxury that only a few people had. Fast forward to today and its now uncommon for most people to not have a cellphone. While cell phones have proven themselves to be a valuable asset to the construction industry, they have also proven themselves to be dangerous as well. Cell phones can be distracting especially when operating mobile equipment and around site. These distractions can lead to serious injury and even death.

Engineer is holding a Blank phone screen for Mock up application simple rule to employ on site: the use of personal cell phones is not permissible while on the job site. Cellphones should be left in the employee’s vehicle for use prior to start of shift, at a scheduled lunch break, after shift or as deemed permissible by a supervisor. Supervisors who have been issued company cell phones may use them on the job-site; however, they are reminded to use caution when doing so.  Before, answering or using a cell phone on site, ensure you are in a safe area -out of the line of fire of equipment and vehicular traffic.

Construction sites are already incredibly distracting without cellphones added to the mix- remember to put away the phone and look around- your safety depends on it.

Construction worker typing on a smartphone

USING THE POWER OF SAFETY AROUND TOOLS AND CORDS

Can you think of a commercial construction project that has been completed without the use hand tools or power tools? Neither could we. Maybe it’s our familiarity with them or the fact that they are such a commonplace item on the construction site that hand tool and power tool safety often gets overlooked. Hand tools and power tools present a host of potential hazards such as flying objects, electrical shock, falling objects, punctures and lacerations.

Amateur carpenter uses the power saw

You can prevent injuries from power tools and cords by taking the following precautions:

– Always inspect tools, power cords, and electrical fittings for damage prior to each use. Tag and remove defective equipment from service should it not pass your pre-use inspection

– Switch tools off before connecting to a power source

– Do not clean power tools with flammable solvents

– Test electrical tools and cords for effective grounding with a continuity tester before use

As always, while taking precautions to prevent injury, always first try to eliminate or isolate a hazard.

Just because we may be familiar with power tools and use them daily mean we can be complacent- remember to check power tools before you start working. You have the power