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Winter safety tips for construction sites

As a seasoned construction worker, you already know the dangers lurking at the job site. Uncovered holes, live electrical wires, unstable scaffolding, and the occasional hammer that falls from two floors up are just a few of the things you are constantly dodging at work.

What about the seasonal hazards, the ones that aren't present year round?

Winter is always the worst of the seasons for working outside or in buildings that are still unfinished. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep yourself and your crew safe during this time of year.

To keep you and your crew safe on the construction site during winter, you have to know how to fight against a New York winter. However, if you are injured on the job, you have the right to file a workers' compensation claim to cover medical expenses and lost wages.

Watch for exposure

While working on the site, you are constantly exposed to the elements. Watch for signs of frostbite or other cold-weather related injuries and be prepared to provide assistance.

Talk to your crew about the signs of frostbite so that all personnel are aware of the danger.

Inspect the site

Inspect the site each morning for signs of ice or other potential problems that have been caused by the cold.

It's possible that some issues cannot be solved until winter is over. Don't be afraid to limit access to these areas in order to keep everyone safe.

Sprinkle paths with salt or a more eco-conscious substitute to avoid falls caused by slipping on the ice. Also inspect for icicles that are in a position to fall and injure people working beneath them. Remove them carefully if possible. If they can't be removed, rope off the area and suspend work in those particular locations.

Remember that clearing snow should not result in the creation of more obstacles. When piling the snow, don't pile it too high to avoid causing an obstruction. You should have a clear line of sight over the top of any snow piles.

Be careful with portable heaters

While portable heaters can seem extremely useful in the cold weather, they can also create additional hazards. Be sure the heaters have been properly inspected before usage.

Also, use the heaters in the appropriate manner. Place them on fire resistant surfaces with sufficient ventilation. Make sure gas hoses are unobstructed and clear. Clear any combustible or flammable objects away from the heaters.

Slow it down

Since the potential dangers are increased in cold and icy conditions, slow down the pace to keep everyone safe. Moving at a slower pace and staying alert for additional hazards will help keep you and your crew at a lower risk of injury.

Accidents that occur on construction sites can be serious and debilitating. Take extra precautions this winter to stay safe while you are on the job.

If you have been injured while working on a construction site, be sure to notify your supervisor immediately in order to start the workers' compensation process.

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