Winter can be dangerous for anyone who routinely spends a lot of time outdoors. But for construction professionals, this season presents a continuous threat to their safety and overall well-being. After all, regardless of the temperature or weather conditions, these hard-working individuals will always do whatever it takes to finish the job. These are five winter construction site hazards to be aware of as you tackle future projects.
Our bodies can’t withstand temperatures below freezing for very long. As the dry air sucks the moisture from our skin, our chances of developing ailments like frostbite, hypothermia, and even cold stress increase. Untreated, these conditions are all incredibly dangerous and can even result in the loss of a limb or death in severe cases. So make sure that you’re taking breaks to warm up and keeping all skin covered.
For those who work in road work zones, vehicle accidents are also a winter construction site hazard to be aware of. Since tires have less traction on slick, icy roadways, it’s much easier for vehicles to slide and collide with others. Many drivers will also hit the guardrails or barricades along the edge of a work zone to avoid colliding with other cars. For this reason, you should always remain aware of your surroundings and use the proper equipment to manage traffic.
Slippery Work Areas
Like the surrounding roadways, the ground of your work site has the potential to become slippery as well. Accumulating snow will often leave behind several layers of ice, which makes falls—and the injuries that result from them—one of the most common types of accidents to occur on a jobsite.
Carbon Monoxide Exposure
Though you may not initially think of it, carbon monoxide levels are at their highest during the winter. Heavy machinery must work harder to heat up and move, which burns through more fuel and releases more emissions. Inhaling these toxins can lead to the development of acute CO2 poisoning, which should receive treatment by a doctor immediately. Some symptoms of this condition include headaches, tightness in the chest, dizziness, and nausea.
But low visibility, especially during snowstorms, is often one of the most dangerous hazards of them all. Blinded by snow and fog, there are few ways for drivers—or workers on the ground, for that matter—to tell where they’re going or even where they currently are. Should storms get this severe, the team should pack up for the day.
At Traffic Safety Zone, keeping you and your construction team safe on the job, no matter the season, is one of our primary missions. As top-notch traffic safety product suppliers, we diligently test and inspect our items to ensure they’re durable, visible, and effective in even the most trying conditions. This way, you can trust that you always have what you need to prevent a disaster.