During winter, it is essential to assess the health and safety of workers on site, as well as the security of your materials. With the change in weather and the darker days, accidents are more likely to happen at this time of year. However, there is several steps you can take to prevent these accidents from happening. You should also take steps to protect your site and materials as well.


Preventing Accidents

With weather being cold and wet, the formation of water and ice on footpaths creates a health and safety risk for workers on site. To prevent this, grit all the main footpaths and ensure that workers are wearing the right footwear.  Reduce the formation of water and ice on the main footpaths by adding temporary drainage. Always assess the safety of working in high places or using scaffolding or ladders whilst the wind is at high speeds. Make sure all scaffolding is secure and is not likely to collapse.


Installing Additional Lighting

When working in winter, you need to ensure that you have a good level of visibility during the darker hours of the day. If you are working around heavy machinery, tools and wires, your visibility is key. Multiple ways of ensuring good visibility include fixing high lumen lamps to stationary fixtures such as masts and scaffolding. You could also provide workers with small portable lamps which they can carry with them to where they need it. Fixing good lighting around your site will also deter any intruders, as it will improve the visibility of any cameras you have on site.


Protecting Materials

During this time of year, the weather can damage building materials, so it is essential for you to keep them protected as best as possible. If water gets into or around blocks, it can freeze and expand, causing damage to your materials. It can also cause damage to your existing structure, which can lead to structural complications. The best way to protect your materials and builds would be to cover each of them with hessian sheets. Another solution would be to use temporary downpipes, which stop the formation of pools of water. Strong winds can also damage site perimeters, so perform perimeter checks to prevent loss of goods. Also, with winds reaching high speeds, keep all lose materials tied down to prevent any loss or damage.


External Heating

With temperatures dropping this time of year,  it is essential that workers on the site aren't subjected to cold stress due to the colder temperatures. If subjected to cold temperatures for long periods of time, workers can even develop hypothermia. To combat this, you can set up outdoor heaters for the workers on site. If this is not feasible, the best scenario would be to schedule outdoor work to short periods, and alternate workers working outside. Also ensure that workers are wearing the correct PPE when doing outdoor work, with all flesh fully covered. This will help shield them from the cold weather.