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The running joke is that there are two seasons: construction season and winter. But even if roads are clear of workers, many construction projects are still going full steam ahead during the frosty months.
Whether it's -30˚ and sunny or snowy and wet, most construction work still goes on. Dangerous temperatures and horrible conditions are uncomfortable at best. Some winter safety practices make winter workdays safer.
In extreme seasons, like winter, you'll need to watch the forecast even more closely than other times of the the year.
Looking at the temperature, precipitation forecasts, and, most importantly, the wind chill can help guide your layering choices or even determine if it's safe to work.
With every passing winter, it seems like freezing rain is becoming more frequent. Ice is a significant winter hazard on the roads and the job site. One misstep can cause a slip and fall that can cause substantial injury.
Ice melt, sand, and old fashion ice scrapers can help remove ice and make it less slippery to deal with. This is not the time to wear your old, worn boots. Boots with a solid tread will help you stay upright and avoid injury.
A lot of winter injuries come from poor form during snow removal. When you're using a shovel, be sure to take light scoops, lift from your legs, and minimize twisting motions. You'll save your back from the pain of improper lifting.
It may be more convenient if you have equipment that can do the job for most of the site. But for scaffolding and tight spaces, you'll likely have to rely on the classic shovel.
You can be the best defensive driver in the world, but ice is unpredictable. Hitting a patch of ice and ending up in the ditch is incredibly common on the highway. Depending on where you're stuck and how many other people are in the same position, you can wait a while for assistance.
An emergency kit with water, snacks, emergency blankets, and other necessities can make the wait more comfortable, and safe.
Unfortunately, coffee doesn't count. Caffeine dehydrates, so even if it warms you up in the short term, you're not getting the hydration you need. Other alternatives are simple hot water and lemon, herbal tea, or broth. It may not help perk you up, but the warmth is worth it.
Taking a break in a heated trailer to escape the cold is necessary for any job site. You won’t have to escape to your vehicle to blast the heat and waste gas. It’s more convenient to have something nearby that everyone can use.
Winter weather can be miserable, but your workdays on the construction site don’t have to be. With a few simple tasks and minor shifts in habit, you can start to enjoy the chilly season.
Falcon Rentals has equipment rentals for any job you need to tackle. If you’re planning your winter construction projects, contact us to reserve your rental equipment for when you need it.