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MAKE YOUR SITE SAFER IN COLD TEMPS

Make your sites safer in colder temps
Winter brings a new set of safety challenges to construction. Ice, snow, wind, freezing temperatures, poor visibility—it all adds risk. As you get ready for the season to change, think about prepping three aspects of your business: your team, your equipment and your site.

Train the team
OSHA recommends that all vehicle and equipment operators who work in snowy or icy conditions receive training on safe winter operating procedures. When possible, let them practice navigating slippery roads and surfaces in empty parking lots or other safe areas.

Make sure your training also includes information about hypothermia. Key points to emphasize:

Evaluate the equipment
To prepare machines for winter, make sure all preventive maintenance is up-to-date. Take care of minor repairs and install the correct fluids and filters in all components. Keep batteries fully charged and tires properly inflated. Before startup, remove snow and debris from tires or undercarriage. Inspect for leaks and loose connections. Check all dipsticks to confirm fluid levels and viscosity. Don’t start an engine unless the oil drips off the stick. In extremely cold temperatures, consider using a block heater or room-temperature starting fluid to power up the engine. Let the machine reach operating temperature before work begins. And be sure to fill the fuel tank at the end of every shift.

Scout the site
The work environment also needs special attention during the winter months. Keep driving and pedestrian routes free of ice and snow. Be aware that visibility is often reduced on wintry days and snow can hide hazards. So add extra lighting, mark active work zones with highly visible signs, and use cones or barricades to delineate risky areas. If machines are not being used, get them off the site and into storage where they’ll be out of the way and protected from the elements.

Ready, set, snow
Cold weather can take a toll on your business, but the work goes on. Be ready to run safely and efficiently all winter long by taking some simple steps now to prepare your people, equipment and site. Get tips about winter fleet maintenance here.

Sources:
https://www.farmersalmanac.com/hypothermia-its-not-just-for-winter-11218
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hypothermia/symptoms-causes/syc-20352682