Although winter comes around the same time each and every year, New York construction sites never seem to get the memo of its arrival. In the study released by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health, New York’s construction workers suffer a fatality rate of 3.7 times that of overall workers. This number continues to rise and has hit a 14-year high as of 2016, the most recent year for which there is conclusive data. They also found that in 2016, 82% of construction worker fatalities coincided with OSHA violations, proving that workers lives were taken due to construction sites cutting corners on their safety.
With so many construction companies cutting corners wherever they can to save costs, there are some simple, cost-efficient ways that you can prepare your construction site this winter to ensure you aren’t another statistic.
Many of the dangers construction sites face in the winter come due to the harsh weather conditions associated with the season. A few of the benefits you can expect from getting an enclosure for your construction site are:
As trees shed their leaves they begin to litter the ground, potentially causing safety concerns at your site. When leaves begin to pile up and get watered down they can become a hazard leading to slip and fall accidents, which are among the top 3 common construction site injuries.
Being protected from winter’s fury not only helps keep employees happy, but also allows for you to ensure the protection of supplies, tools, and equipment. Keeping the tools you need for the job in safe, working condition means that your company spending won’t be wasted on repairs and replacements.
On top of all the other complications winter causes, using a vehicle should be the one to take most caution with. There are a few things you should be sure to check over before beginning your winter projects:
Check all company vehicles starting with the exterior—are the tires properly inflated to the correct PSI? It’s recommended to fill tires 3-5 PSI higher than normal to increase the tires stability.
Test the vehicle’s lighting and braking systems to ensure they are working properly.
Check the windshield for cracks or streaking. Also, take a look at the wiper blades and make sure they are in proper working condition, with no cracks.
If you have to plow snow to make space for your construction site, there are a few things you can keep in mind to ensure a much safer environment. Be sure to place snow stockpiles at the lowest point of your construction site to reduce the amount of water flowing through the site as the snow begins to melt. In addition, you will always want to be sure to inspect the whole site regularly to identify any areas that may need additional maintenance.
Finally, you should speak with your company and its employees about the concerns winter brings and how you can prevent them before they ever happen. Being out in the cold working long, hard hours can lead to a numerous amount of illnesses.
Educate your employees, knowledge is power and you can never know too much about being safe. if you’re aware of the dangers presented by the seasonal changes and how to prevent them, you will greatly increase your chances of staying safe.