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How To Keep Your Building Site Safe This Winter

How To Keep Your Building Site Safe This Winter

By on Dec 5, 2022 in Blog, Scaffolding |

It’s cold, wet, and gloomy outside. That can only mean one thing, winter is officially here. Like any work that takes place outdoors, there are a few hazards that can risk the safety of scaffolders while working on a building site during the winter. 

To ensure a safe and secure working environment, Network Scaffold have written this article to outline the following guidelines to prevent work-related accidents and keep your building site safe this winter.

Good Housekeeping 

The most common way to provide a safe working environment is to ensure the scaffolding team keeps on top of housekeeping work. A tidy and organised building site lowers the risk of potential work incidents not just in winter, but all year round. The scaffolding team should practise the following rules:

  • Keep work stations clean and tidy.
  • Disposal of waste on a regular basis.
  • Report any near misses and accidents to management.
  • Be cautious of cables to prevent trips or use cordless tools if possible.
  • Keep access routes and fire exits clear at all times.
  • Store building materials and equipment away properly.

Increase Visibility

Something many of us dislike about the winter is the shortness of natural daylight. Furthermore, daylight savings time doesn’t in this regard. During December, the early mornings can be just as dark as a night’s sky, and the sun sets during the late afternoon. During the day, visibility can still be reduced from dull, cloudy or foggy conditions. In the scaffolding industry, this can mean working long periods in dark to complete projects and tight deadlines. 

In one of our previous articles, we discussed the importance of light on a scaffolding site. If scaffolders are working on a building site and they don’t have full visibility, they might struggle to perform work to the best of their abilities. To put light on this subject, by adding sufficient lighting such as scaffolding LED lights and safety lights, scaffolders can carry out work to the highest standards. The lighting enables them to also navigate around any physical obstructions that might be blocking their work pattern.

Check The Weather

It’s important to keep updated on the latest hazardous weather conditions such as wind, thunderstorms, heavy rain showers, frost, ice, and chances of snow. These conditions can cause fallen building materials and unstable structures. Frozen metal poles and components of scaffolding can be unpleasantly cold to touch and can cause frost burn on bare hands. This is one of many reasons you should ensure that sufficient gloves are worn. 

Beware of Slippery Surfaces

Along with staying updated on the weather, it’s important to beware of any potential icy and slippery surfaces around the building site including scaffolding boards. This allows you to prepare to mark or put down safety barriers around hazardous areas in the event of bad freezing weather. The most common work-related accidents in the scaffolding industry are slips, trips and falls from height. Make sure to cover scaffolding when not in use to prevent surfaces from rain and signpost any slippery areas to alarm others on site. You may also wish to invest in our industry leading safety decking which helps to prevent falls on scaffolding structures. 

PPE & Training

To further help reduce work-related accidents, the most effective way is to provide scaffolders with relevant health and safety training. Not only will this equip workers with knowledge but the training will also inform them regarding what to look out for. 

PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is essential in all workplaces. In the scaffolding industry, every building site can vary in terms of PPE. However, it is required to provide workers with some or all the following:

  • Safety Gloves – Protects hands while handling cold metals.
  • Hard Hats – Provides shelter in the event of fallen objects.
  • Steel Toe Footwear – Protects from fallen objects and offers better grip.
  • High-Visibility Clothing – Allows workers to be seen easier in darker conditions.
  • Safety Goggles – Prevents sharp objects from entering and harming the eye area.
  • Ear Plugs or Ear Muffs – Projects ear hearing from loud machinery.
  • Safety Harness – Prevents serious falls while working at heights over 6 feet or more.

Contact Network Scaffold Services

Here at Network Scaffold Services, we’re a highly established scaffolding company based in Derby. We are heavily committed to ensuring our professional scaffolding team carries out high-quality work that follows the latest health and safety regulations. If you need any access scaffolding, scaffolding, or scaffold erecting services in Derby or surrounding areas, get in touch with us today.