How To Be Prepared For Construction Hazards This Spring

Lots of new and exciting construction projects are picking back up now that the spring season is in full swing. However, it’s important to remember that the industries of architecture, engineering, and construction rely upon the safety of their workers to avoid accidents and maximize productivity. In some regions, springtime means steady rain and high winds. Other regions see snow melt, heat waves, and slippery conditions this time of year. Some of the most preventable construction hazards include slipping on wet surfaces, maneuvering equipment in muddy conditions, and staying healthy in fluctuating temperatures.

construction safety demonstration

Assumedly, everyone working at construction sites has gone through extensive safety training, but it never hurts to have a few reminders around this time of year.

Maintain Clear Safety Goggles

Even just a couple drops of moisture on a construction worker’s goggles can cause a serious incident. Workers should wipe their safety goggles clean regularly and use anti-fogging sprays before heading to the job site. Management may also be able to adjust electric timers so that outdoor lights remain on during daytime hours on particularly dark days to promote better vision.

Wipe Mud from Boots & Gloves

Nobody ever said a construction site had to be free of dirt and grime, but there are definitely benefits to keeping your site as clean as possible. Encourage workers to wipe off boots and gloves before stepping onto and off of equipment. This will help prevent slippage and allow machinery to function properly. It’s important to understand the limitations of the machines you’re using and not force them to operate against their intended purpose.

Move Slower in Bad Weather

The construction industry is all about meeting deadlines, but not at the cost of the health and safety of its workers. During work periods of heavy rainfall, high winds, or other inclement weather, encourage your workers to move with more caution and deliberation. This may result in slower progress, but that’s nothing compared to bringing your entire project to a halt because of an accident.

Wear Bright, Reflective Outerwear

Rain and fog make construction workers more difficult to see than normal, so ensure that all workers are wearing bright, reflective outwear at all times when on a job site. Sun-resistant clothing with UV protection, as well as long sleeves and pants, will protect workers when those rain clouds finally make way for sunshine.

pre construction safety meeting

Bring Waterproof Gear

Speaking of gear, this is also an essential time to have waterproof gear on hand every day at the job site. Spontaneous spring showers are notorious for being cold, so protective coats and hoods will keep your crew active and moving swiftly.

Watch for Live Wires

Another construction site hazard that’s common during times of heavy rainfall is the presence of live wires. Not only can exposed wires cause power outages and delays, but also cause severe shocks to your workers.

To learn about other potential hazards common to the construction industry at any time of year and solutions for keeping your crew safe, check out OSHA’s Worker Safety Series publication, which addresses falls, trench and scaffold collapse, electric shock, and more.

 

Photo credit: LouisvilleUSACE and NAVFAC via Flickr

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