People that work at higher elevations face risks that workers on the ground don’t need to overcome. While ground-based workers face other risks as well, they don’t have to deal with the added hazards of balance, wind, and of course, the risk of falling a great distance. These factors become more dangerous with the addition of cold weather. Let’s go over some of those risks and some crucial fall protection tips to keep workers protected in cold weather.
When snow falls, it always leaves the surface that it fell on slick and slippery. This condition is especially dangerous to workers at increased heights. Ice, on the other hand, will take on the same color as whatever is below it, and poses a much more significant threat. Not only is it slippery, but it’s often difficult to tell the difference between a clear surface and an ice-covered one. During snowfall, workers also have to contend with decreased visibility. Even when wearing the proper protective gear, extensive exposure also leaves workers susceptible to cold-related injuries and illnesses, such as the following:
- numbing of the extremities,
- trench foot,
- chilblains (sores from exposure to cold)
- even hypothermia.
Workers who perform their duties on top of new buildings, high poles connected to cable and power lines, and other elevated platforms are usually tethered to a secure base that helps keep them safe and protected from the risk of falling. If they do happen to slip, the base that they are attached to by a harness will save them from serious injury or worse. This system, however, is only as effective as the equipment used to make it work. With that in mind, harnesses and cables need to be stored in cool, dry environments. If these items freeze or become saturated with moisture in cold weather, they will wear down, growing brittle or even beginning to rot. They must be kept away from these elements when they are not in use active use.
In those unfortunate events when accidents do occur, it’s vital that rescue crews can immediately reach the affected worker. Winter often makes this process more complicated as the ground could be covered with snow or ice. Workers on the ground must ensure that these areas remain clear and accessible at all times. Even so, you must always ensure that there are adequate fall and rescue plans in place for just these kinds of emergencies.
Prioritize Safety with G&M Services
G&M Services is proud of our employees and the dedication they have for safety in the workplace. Our employees are also rewarded for positive safety practices. We incorporate weekly and monthly discussions and meeting to ensure that all involved are aware of how to handle equipment and potential situations that could occur during a project.
G&M Services offers services in the way of concrete drilling and sawing, concrete scanning and FireStop. To get started with us, call today at 410-787-8828 or visit our contact page. Follow the official company page today on Google+, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.