A winter construction site can be a cold place to be, with plenty of potential hazards to be aware of. Adapting to the winter is an important thing to do for any construction site in the UK, and with the help of a plant hire service that knows its stuff, you can fully prepare and maintain a site over the winter months to ensure that the project remains on track, efficient, and most of all maintains high safety standards. It won’t be long until the warmer months of spring and summer are here, but in the meantime, ensure that your winter construction site is fully equipped and as prepared as possible.
What are the hazards on site during winter?
During the winter there are a few types of potential hazards that are more likely than at any other time of year, so it is important to understand them. These include:
Cold temperatures – cold temperatures can cause icy conditions on the ground and slip hazards for both people and machinery. Materials behave differently under cold temperatures, and it also affects morale on a basic level.
Lower light levels – during winter the days are much shorter, which causes potential problems of lower light for longer periods of time whilst working on site. This can cause problems with carrying out simple tasks and safely using machinery, so there is the need to light the site sufficiently.
Water levels – it rains a lot in the UK, as we know. This can cause potential problems for a site, including potential boggy and muddy ground that can sink underfoot and cause safety problems for scaffolding and the delivery and movement of materials and equipment, alongside uncomfortable working conditions.
Debris – there is often a greater level of natural debris that is present on sites over winter. Consider the impact of fallen leaves and detritus that could be blown in from outside the site perimeter.
Assessing risk on site
It is important to thoroughly assess the site before use and then at regular intervals during a project to maintain high safety standards. Identify the areas that might be affected by ice, fallen leaves, water and mud, where weather conditions might potentially change a part of the site, and where you’ll need extra lighting, cover, and specialist equipment.
Equip your winter site
Utilise the expertise of a specialist plant hire company to fully equip your winter construction site. This should include equipment that provides extra shelter for contractors and suppliers, equipment that can prepare the site to help avoid slips and falls, barriers and signage for protection and to clearly outline working areas and transportation routes and pedestrian areas, as well as site lighting, PPE, material and handling equipment, and other large plant hire machinery that will be required for effective and safe task completion on site during the toughest weather conditions.
Working with a good plant hire company to fully equip your project will help you to ensure that your winter site is fully prepared, efficient, and safe. There are many dangers that a winter site presents to any project, but with careful planning and consideration, expert advice and guidance, and access to the latest and highest quality of plant hire equipment, you can maintain high standards even at the coldest time of the year. Your contractors and employees deserve to feel safe and be provided with the tools and resources to keep working in a safe environment. With this approach you can certainly provide that for them and push forward during winter on site.