The weather may be a lot cooler and the nights drawing in earlier, but that doesn’t mean building work halts just because winter is approaching.
Projects still need to be completed in all weathers, but the winter cold, ice and rain presents its own set of challenges. Of course, during any building project you want to make sure the risk of accident or injury is as low as possible, but deadlines still need to be met whatever the weather. With this in mind, read on to find out how you can keep you and your team safe during the colder months.
Increase safety checks
Good practice dictates that general health and safety checks should be carried out already, but increased vigilance is vital at this time of year to prevent accidents. As well as scaffolding structure risk assessments, the frame structure should be reinforced against potential heavy wind, rain or snow. Inspect the site each morning for any snow or ice in areas where employees will be working and continue to check throughout the day to make sure no ice has built up.
Keep an eye on the weather
If the weather becomes too difficult to manage, i.e. a torrential downpour, high winds, heavy snowfall, or a severe frost in the mornings, then it may be best to postpone work until conditions improve. Keeping an eye on the weather forecast is useful for predicting when work may have to be paused, but unfortunately the great British weather isn’t always reliable!
It’s also equally important to wear the right clothing, especially if working outdoors for long periods of time. Add extra layers and non-slip shoes or boots, and remember to take regular breaks indoors if the temperature severely drops.
Shorter days and longer nights means that working in darkness is sometimes unavoidable. If you have to work once daylight visibility goes, make sure there are plenty of spotlights and torches to light the structure and area you’re working on. All workers should wear high vis clothing, too.
Avoid risks of slip
Rain, sleet and ice can cause even the most secure of structures to become slippery and unsafe. Harnesses should always be worn when working at height, but become vital during the colder months. Slip resistant boards can be used instead of planks, and as above, ensure all workers are wearing appropriate non-slip footwear.
Scaffolding work during the winter months might seem daunting, but for extra peace of mind
DH Scaffold offer a scaffold inspection service. We come to your site and fully inspect the scaffold to provide you with a full report of any issues, putting your mind at rest and making sure all workers are in safe hands. Visit our website to find out more and see the other services we can offer you and your company.