How Cold Weather Affects the Construction Industry

Cold weather has a big impact on almost all aspects of our daily lives. From school cancellations to putting on extra layers, the winter months can take their toll. However, the construction industry is especially impacted. 

Construction crews need to stay on top of the cooler temperatures by staying up-to-date on necessary maintenance, adapting work practices as necessary, and reviewing safety measures.  Failure to do so could lead to a potential for harm or injury. Being aware and proactive in avoiding the potential dangers winter presents, helps construction workers maintain a safe work environment and alleviates some of the risks of working through the winter. Here, the Maryland construction experts at Gray & Son offer advice to keep your job sites running smoothly this season. 

Winter Weather Means an Increased Danger of Falling

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that falls are the leading cause of death in construction. Despite being preventable, deaths and injuries resulting from falls are unfortunately quite common. Beyond their prevalence on construction sites, the rain, snow, ice, and moisture that accompany winter can increase the threat of falling. Everyone on a construction site should review safety guidelines and OSHA regulations so that slip and fall injuries can be kept to a minimum. Making sure that your company has high standards of employee and supervisor training is essential to keeping everyone safe on the job. 

Ensure Workers are Properly Dressed for Winter

As temperatures drop, construction workers naturally begin bundling up to stay warm. This is an important and necessary process as it better protects from inclement weather. However, these extra layers can limit mobility while working so it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and the potential to cause accidents. When wearing thick padding, workers should take the time to adjust to their now-limited mobility. 

The best way to address this issue is to pack and wear layers that can easily be shed or added based on the situation. Keep extremities warm with gloves, hats, and insulated boots this winter season. 

Provide Your Crew With Overhead Protection

For cold temperatures and quick climate changes, overhead protection can be useful for keeping construction sites safe in the winter. Whether it be wind, rain, snow, or ice, precipitation can wreak havoc on a worksite, impacting not only the crew but the equipment as well. Investing in overhead protection will help to keep everything dry.

Many viable overhead protection options can meet the various needs of crews. For large, stationary projects, garages or warehouses offer coverage over machinery and equipment. For a more flexible option, consider tent rentals, which can be customized to fit each crew’s needs. These different options allow for coverage to be provided for any job site and protect from inclement weather. 

Review Construction Safety Protocol

Winter is a perfect time to educate or refresh workers on these procedures. Many construction industries see a lull during the winter months, which provides an opportunity for team-wide training. Lead a beginning-of-the-year safety meeting that refreshes your team on protection, safety, and evacuation protocols. Even reminders about something as simple as ladder safety can reduce the threat of injury or danger on a site during the cooler months. 

To tailor the training specific to the winter months, offer preparednes tips. This can include educating workers on the signs of cold stress, offering suggestions for proper clothing, and providing insight into how safe work practices should be incorporated during colder weather. 

Gray & Son Paves the Way in Safety 

Winter can come with a lot of concerns for construction crews, including keeping workers warm and safe. In every season, safety is a top priority on every Gray & Son job site. We aim to make sure that everyone goes home safe at night. To learn more about how Gray & Son is paving the way in safety or how we can help you on your project this year, contact us today!

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