Every season has unique challenges, and winter is no exception. Here are 12 easy tips and takeaways to keep you one step ahead of the cold and prevent sickness and injuries.
Want more information? Download our complete guide to winter construction site prep!
1. Update Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for colder weather. Prioritize non-slip footwear, gloves, jackets/coats, and hard-hat liners.
This article from Construct Connect has additional information about winter PPE.
2. Reduce worker fatigue and keep energy levels up. Limit activities that create swelling or reduce circulation, and provide heated break spaces. Keep water and warm fluids available to workers to prevent dehydration and boost energy.
3. Keep areas clear. Make sure pathways, work areas, and stairways are clear from snow and other items that could cause an injury.
4. Improve poorly lit areas such as pathways, entries, and low-clearance ceilings. Reflective lights can be useful.
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5. Apply tread tape to areas that may freeze or be slippery, such as stairs, doorways, ramps, and handrails.
6. Label areas that are hazardous in icy or cold conditions, such as doors, parking lots, and staircases.
7. Encourage workers to regularly exercise and prioritize sleep. Regular exercise and 7+ hours of sleep can boost the immune system. The choice to exercise should be left up to the employee, but you can remind them of the benefits.
8. Encourage workers to avoid smoking if possible. Smoking increases the risk of catching viruses.
9. Don’t touch your face, and encourage employees to avoid touching their faces. People who occasionally touch their eyes and nose are more likely to develop frequent upper respiratory infections, according to a study published in the Journal of Occupational Health.
10. Keep health-related reminders clear and visible to employees. One example is hand-washing signs.
11. Communicate emergency procedures to workers. If your workers do fall ill or experience injury, a plan can keep your jobsite on-task or protect the injured employee.
12. Encourage employees to enact a buddy system to make sure each employee is self-monitoring and self-reporting for health and well-being issues.
We hope these tips assist you to prevent sickness this winter! Interested in learning more about keeping your team safe and your equipment in tip-top shape? Download our complete Winter Prep Guide!
Want more winter weather tips and tricks? Check out our resources section!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2017. We updated it for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness in January 2023.