According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), construction workers have one of the most dangerous jobs in the U.S., ranking in the top 10 alongside police officers and firefighters. In fact, in 2016 the BLS reported that construction workers ranked the highest for on-the-job injuries and fatalities. Keeping workers safe should be a number one priority on all construction sites, especially during the winter months, when dangers and risks increase.
As a demolition contractor in Kansas City, at Midland Wrecking Inc. our workers are doing some of the most dangerous work in the field of construction, so we take extra precautions to ensure their safety. Here are a few of our winter safety tips that we’ve learned over the past 30 years in the business that we think you could use, too:
- Dress for the weather: This may seem like a no-brainer, but when you are involved in vigorous physical labor you may want to shed the winter coat to gain more mobility or you may begin to feel warmer than you actually are. Don’t kid yourself—it’s cold out there, and you need to dress warmly at all times when on the construction site.
- Don’t forget to shovel and salt: Just like anywhere else, construction sites can get icy and slippery. It’s important that you shovel before starting work for the day and regularly salt high-traffic areas to avoid slips and falls.
- Avoid drinking coffee: Coffee is the go-to drink for anyone working outside on a cold day, but coffee increases your heart rate, which can make you feel warmer than you actually are. Plus, coffee can actually dehydrate you. Water is the safest and smartest beverage choice.
- Prepare your vehicles for winter: Make sure your vehicles have good tire tread and/or chains to avoid accidents and injury. Depending on the type of construction site you have and the vehicles you use, you should also equip your vehicles with emergency supplies like flashlights, blankets and ice scrapers.
- Provide a warm break area: Construction workers need a place to get out of the cold and have a chance to warm up. Providing a heated break area on your construction site will not only keep your workers safe and healthy, it will also make them a lot happier and ready to get back to work.
- Talk about winter illnesses: Most adults ignore symptoms of illness until they become a real problem and, if you are working out of doors, even a common cold can turn into something serious if ignored. Let your construction workers know what symptoms to watch out for, how to take care of themselves and how to keep illnesses from spreading.
Don’t let winter put your employees at risk. By following these few simple tips, you can make sure that your construction team gets through the winter safely. And if you need help with any demolition jobs or debris removal this winter, don’t forget to call on Midland Wrecking Inc., your local demolition contractor in Kansas City.