Many businesses choose to take breaks over the winter months, but warehousing gets the busiest around Christmas. Construction industry has also got to carry on. Battling harsh weather conditions, come rain, hail or snow the show must go on. Although this is to be admired, it does mean that potential risks of cold stress illnesses are increased, and operations in the warehouse, on construction sites, and for the workers themselves must be adapted. Find below a roundup of top tips on how to prepare your business and make sure you are ready for winter.
Get Construction Site Ready for Winter
The key is to get ready before harsh weather hits. Cold weather can cause burst pipes. Insulating pipes with fibre glass and installing silt fence, sediment filters and erosion control blankets will decrease this risk. Also, consider site materials as some must be treated differently when temperatures change.
Install temporary roads/walkways and use grit when operations involve the movement of heavy machinery. This ensures a clean and safe site for workers whilst also minimising soil movement. To avoid flooding, remove any snow that is blocking entrances and place it downhill of the site. Ensure heaters and lights are available to keep workers safe and warm when temperatures grow low and the days grow darker.
Is Your Warehouse All Set?
Snow and ice can seriously impact equipment performance. Ensure inspections of equipment such as truck tyres, hydraulic systems and forklifts are regular to decrease the risk of a serious issue and also ensure there is someone available to provide service in case of a failure.
With winter comes the increased risk of a power outage. Back up data in a secure way. Check roofs for ice and snow and install insulation. Heating issues in the warehouse can impact performance of material handling equipment and workers. Check heating regularly to decrease this risk.
Get Workers Ready for Winter
Workers must preserve as much heat as possible. Thermals are essential and wool is a great choice. Wear multiple light layers to maximise both blood flow and insulation. Most heat is lost through the extremities of the body. Wear appropriate high quality head, hand and footwear to prevent this. Clothes can become wet by excess precipitation and sweat, therefore bringing spares is beneficial, especially socks.
Applying moisturiser is a quick and easy way to reduce the risk of frostbite by adding another barrier to the skin. Keep moving to ensure you do not lose heat. Where possible, enclose the site to retain heat and health of workers, and organise breaks in warm areas. Ensure that workers are aware of the symptoms of illnesses such as hypothermia, frostbite and trench foot so they can be proactive if symptoms occur.
Featured image: Henry & Co.