Winters in the Midwest can be brutal. From biting cold to blowing snow, to thaw-then-freeze create a slippery and difficult environment to work in. Since the majority of our business is centered around safety and security, it’s important to take a step back from the daily grind and discuss ways we can all work more safely this winter.
It goes without saying that staying indoors will keep you warmer and help prevent certain types of injuries, however sometimes tasks or entire projects must be completed outdoors—such as installing construction fences.
When working outdoors is required, wearing the right gear is critical. Thermal undergarments and insulated pants and coats certainly help, but be sure to think about your feet as well—thick boots and insulated or doubled-up socks will help keep your feet warm and dry. Also, be sure your coat extends below your waist, as in the trades you’ll more than likely be bending and reaching, potentially exposing your midsection.
Many of our jobs require finger dexterity, an important element in choosing the right glove is wind protection. There are many glove manufacturers touting wind-blocking technology, but I find good ol’ leather to be one of the best at blocking the wind. With a thin, insulated layer and wind blocking layer, it’s still possible to keep your fingers reasonably warm and maintain a degree of dexterity for more intricate tasks.
Prepare The Work Area
As previously mentioned, the job site can get very slippery, so it’s important to prepare the surfaces where you’ll be working to ensure stable footing and clear foot path. Whether it’s shoveling snow or using ice melt, nothing is more important than preventing a fall injury. With ever-changing weather, it’s important to check the work area regularly for ice accumulation.
Outfit Your Vehicle
Whether you use a company truck or a personal vehicle, the cold weather can wreak havoc on the durability of batteries and vehicle fluids. Fill your windshield washer reservoir with ice melt formula, top off your cooling reservoir with the right anti-freeze solution and make sure you’re battery is tested before the cold sets in. Last but not least, be sure to carry a simple inclement weather kit including an ice scraper, flashlight, small shovel, flares, and a bottle of water and non-perishable snack such as an energy bar.
Following these simple safety tips can help keep your job running smoothly and safely. If you need help securing your frozen job site with a chain link fence or panel fence, be sure to give us a call at (630) 543-7990.