Watching the Weather

Posted on October 15, 2021 in: Safety

Aron Csont, council director, The Voice Newsletter October 2021

No matter where you are in the country, weather can pose a threat to your work environment. Different parts of the country experience different threats. The time of year will pose different types of weather-related threats on your job sites. Workers should be advised of potential weather threats before they arrive so everyone is prepared and ready for action. With the seasons currently changing we will focus on upcoming hazards.

What types of weather are your jobsites facing and what should you look for?

Summer is ending, however we may still face the potential of extreme heat. Make sure employees have access to drinking water to stay hydrated.

Hydration Tips:

When working in the heat, drink 1 cup (8 ounces) of water every 15 to 20 min. Foods that keep you hydrated:

Watermelon. Water Content: 92% Strawberries. Water Content: 91% Cantaloupe. Water Content: 90% Peaches. Water Content: 89% Oranges. Water Content: 88%

Thunderstorms / Severe Weather: With summer ending and colder weather approaching the potential for severe weather increases. If there is lightning near your work area exterior work should be shut down immediately, especially anyone in elevated equipment, on roofs, or working in open areas. Storms can be unpredictable, so notifying employees of the potential threats are key to having everyone prepared to act if needed.

Severe Weather Tips:

  • Set your project up to receive weather alerts.
  • Review your severe weather mustering areas frequently. Watch out for wind.
  • Have pumps on hand to address flooding.

Winter Weather: Cold weather will be here before we know it and can impact areas of the country that normally do not experience cold weather conditions. We face the potential for snow and ice which will create slipping hazards. Motorized equipment operators should be very cautious as traction will greatly decrease with snow and ice, as well as wet conditions. Cold weather also exposes employees to a higher chance of illness, so everyone should wear clothing that keeps them dry and warm.

Winter Weather Tips:

  • Clean ice and snow from access areas and work platforms. Use sand or de-icing materials to prevent slip and falls.
  • Wear gloves as well as head coverings approved to be worn under your helmet or hard hat.
  • Watch your footing. Steel beams, steel decks, plywood decks and platforms may be clear in sunny areas but icy in the shade.

If you need additional help with creating or updating you Weather Preparedness Plan feel to reach out to Joe Whiteman, ASCC director of safety services, for assistance.

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