The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that one in every five workplace deaths happens within the construction industry. The figures for injuries in this field are also very high.
The industry involves various risks and challenges, but there are even more issues associated with the changing seasons. Both workers and employers need to be aware of these potential hazards and take proactive measures to ensure a safe working environment.
Slippery surfaces during winter
As winter approaches, colder temperatures can lead to icy and slippery surfaces on construction sites. Snow and freezing rain can create hazardous conditions, increasing the risk of slips, trips and falls. Workers should wear appropriate footwear with slip-resistant soles and be cautious when walking on icy surfaces.
Heat stress in summer
When summer arrives, the sweltering heat can become a major concern for construction workers. Heat stress and heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke, are real dangers. Workers must stay hydrated, take frequent breaks in shaded areas and wear lightweight and breathable clothing to prevent heat-related injuries.
Reduced visibility in fall
The fall season often brings shorter daylight hours and reduced visibility. As a result, construction sites may become dimly lit, making it harder for workers to see potential hazards. Adequate lighting and the use of reflective clothing are essential to ensure that workers remain visible and can identify potential dangers.
Unpredictable weather in spring
Spring can bring unpredictable weather patterns, including heavy rain and thunderstorms. Wet and muddy conditions can make surfaces slippery and increase the likelihood of accidents. Employers should provide proper protective gear, such as rain gear and waterproof footwear, to keep workers safe during these adverse weather conditions.
Windy conditions year-round
Strong winds are a concern throughout the year, especially on elevated construction sites. Windy conditions can destabilize materials and equipment, increasing the risk of falls and injuries. Workers should learn how to secure materials properly and safety protocols to prevent accidents caused by gusty winds.
Seasonal changes can increase the likelihood of construction injuries, so employees and employers must remain vigilant. Taking the right steps to reduce risks is the best way to avoid accidents when the weather is changing.