Construction Site Safety in the Springtime
After a long, cold winter, the weather is finally starting to warm up again. For many people, this means the beginning of baseball season or that they can start working in their gardens again. But if you’re a construction worker, the arrival of spring also means that work is about to start getting busy again. With the coldest months of the year behind us, people are eager to get started on those big projects again, which means more work for you. But there are also some special safety considerations to be mindful of this time of year. Here are a few helpful hints to keep construction workers safe in the springtime:
Watch the Weather Forecasts
Springtime weather can be somewhat unpredictable. It might be sunny and warm in the morning, but severe thunderstorms or tornadoes could roll in during the afternoon. If you and your crew are going to be working outdoors, it’s essential to keep up-to-date on weather forecasts and be aware of the latest weather warnings and advisories. That way, you will have time to secure anything that could be picked up by high winds and your workers will have ample time to take shelter.
Even if it isn’t actually raining while you’re on the site, it’s very likely you’ll have a lot of mud to work around if it has rained recently. In this case, make sure your workers know to always wipe their boots and gloves off before getting on equipment to prevent falls off equipment. If possible, try to use wooden planks or boards to give workers a path to get across muddy areas.
Inspect Equipment and Safety Gear
If your equipment, tools, and safety gear have spent the winter months in storage, now is the perfect time to give everything a thorough inspection and make sure they are all in good working order. If anything needs to be replaced or repaired, it’s best to get that taken care of before your busy season gets into full swing. Neither you nor the people working for you should be using substandard equipment; too many construction site accidents happen because equipment and gear aren’t properly maintained.
Brush Up on Training and Implement New Procedures
Whether you’re going to be working with the same crew you’ve been working with for years or you have some new workers joining you, now is an ideal time for everyone to do a bit of training. Experienced workers can benefit from the refresher course and new workers absolutely must learn about how to properly use equipment. If any new laws or regulations have gone into effect in the time since you last worked together, now is the time to make sure all your workers are brought up to speed on those.
If you have new safety procedures you want to start using, it makes sense to start implementing them at the beginning of the season rather than in the middle, when people have gotten into the habit of doing things the old way.
Take it Slow at First
Working on construction sites can be very physically demanding. If you and your crew have essentially had the winter off and haven’t stayed in shape during that time, it might be hard to get back into the swing of things. If possible, start off with some less physically demanding jobs so that workers can gradually re-adjust to physical labor. If workers try to do too much too soon, there’s a good chance they will end up hurting themselves.