Construction projects never stop during the winter, and if you are a construction manager, you must ensure your workers stay safe during the harsh cold months. Winter storms generally cause havoc to the construction site as they accumulate snow and ice. You and your team should keep warm and protected when such storms strike and keep specific safety tips in mind.
Kanat Sultanbekov– inspecting the job site during winter
Kanat Sultanbekov is a highly respected and experienced construction manager from New York known for his safety expertise and timely completion of construction projects. He is an inspirational leader who balances risk assessments, strategic planning, and operational processes to effectively guide his team to finish all the projects under their responsibility safely.
When it comes to construction projects and their safety during the winter months, he advises construction managers to inspect the job site and keep the following three safety tips in mind:
- Clean the area before work
In case of storms, you should check the site for any trees or wires that might have fallen before your workers commence the tasks assigned to them for the day. The ice and snow must be cleared from working and walking spaces like ladders, scaffolding, walkways, and roofs. When ice remains on the surface, you must stress safety precautions with your workers.
Use sand or salt to melt these ice patches to improve spaces for your workers. Mark spaces with ice that have not been cleaned so your workers can avoid those areas and prevent accidents. When the weather is icy and snows, advise your workers to take small steps and work slowly, especially if they carry equipment and tools to prevent slips and falls.
- Observe the weather
Keep in touch with the weather news and forecasts so that you can protect your team against blizzards and storms. Ensure your workers get sufficient time to secure the construction site and reach home safely without getting stranded. As the winter temperatures fall, keep a close eye on your workers and look for symptoms of hypothermia or frostbite. Your team should wear the right clothes for the work and encourage your workers to take breaks frequently in between work to keep warm from the cold.
- Give your workers a heated area for taking short work-breaks
According to Kanat Sultanbekov workers need more energy to work during the winter months on any construction site, so you must have a heated space to take breaks and keep their bodies warm. This space can be a tent or even an indoor area, if available, for them to take shelter from their work and rest. Here, they can change out of their wet clothes, drink something warm and take a break before returning to work. This is a good time for your workers to check for frostbite, fatigue, or hypothermia symptoms.
As a construction manager, you should remind your team to reduce caffeine intake, stimulants, and nicotine as this boosts the heart rate, making your workers feel warmer than they are.