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17. Working at heights in winter
As we enter the autumn and winter months of the year you need to prepare your work environment to ensure you stay safe on site. Here at Oxford Safety, we wanted to highlight some of the safety issues of working at heights in winter and provide you with some top tips too. So, let’s take a look at some of the changes to your work environment during the winter time…
Whether you are working indoors or out, the amount of natural light available can change dramatically. Daylight hours can be reduced, cloud cover can dull the daylight hours and you need to consider temporary lighting to help you complete your work.
Don’t forget to assess the site you are working on and ensure there is sufficient lighting available. If you are working at heights, using a temporary platform, then do take care to ensure there is enough light to assist you to assemble the equipment and embark and disembark on to the platform too.
The weather can be uncertain in the winter months with conditions that are wet, cold or reducing visibility. Some weather conditions can be dangerous too.
If there are strong winds, for instance, this can really affect your ability to perform your tasks. Working at heights might be delayed so it’s important to keep an eye on the weather forecast before heading out to your next job.
If you’re working at heights indoors then another way the weather can affect your work is the condition of your footwear. If you have wet soles then you could slip whilst working. So, be sure to use a mat or swap footwear when working indoors.
As well as lighting, the weather can affect your visibility too. Consider your safety if there is dense fog, snow or mist.
Using temporary platforms outdoors that are metal could be dangerous if lightning strikes. This scenario could cause electrocution, fire or even explosions.
Just like we discussed in the summer with our blog on ‘Heat and healthy & safety whilst working at heights’ temperatures in the winter months can also be a peril for working too.
Extreme temperatures can increase the probability of accidents occurring at work. Not only does it put workers safety at risk but machinery can fail or be out of action in certain temperatures too.
This can be costly for your business and the job at hand.
Consider the type of work wear your employees use and consider the storage solutions of any equipment required.
Oxford Safety’s top tips for working at heights in winter
So, just to recap, here are our top tips for working at heights in winter:
● Carry out safety checks on equipment and site environment before working
● Be sure to keep an eye on the weather forecast
● Dry your footwear or change into a separate pair if the weather is wet outside
● Make sure your employees have appropriate workwear for changing temperatures
● Store equipment appropriately to avoid damage or breakdown issues
For more information about temporary platforms or training sessions please browse the menu at the top of this page for the Oxford Safety website.
Roofwork can be cold and windy