Winter is nearly here, and it’s time to prepare our homes for the cooler weather. But that’s not all that needs attention—workers at height experience extreme weather conditions year-round, but this time of year poses some extra threats.
Here are the top 4 effects winter has on at-height workers and how you can work to combat them.
Checking the day’s wind predictions may not be enough, as they’re likely at-ground predictions. Be sure to invest in quality fall protection equipment to keep you secure while working. 3M Protectas' line of fall protection systems, harnesses, and lanyards offer safety at a budget-friendly price.
If you’re a scaffold worker and use anything to block the wind, be sure it has holes to allow for some wind to pass through. Otherwise, your entire structure may be at risk.
While at-height workers can certainly experience snow while those on the ground are not, it’s likely that you’ll know it’s snowing before you start working.
When it comes to a storm, visibility can quickly drop to zero. Here, fall protection equipment is especially important and can stop potentially fatal incidents. However, stainless steel systems can freeze in these conditions.
Rather than using heaters to dry your fall protection system, which could cause more harm than good, you want to manually remove as much ice and snow as possible to protect your gear and systems.
Having proper rescue equipment on hand can also help to get workers out of a dangerous situation. We trust PMI's rescue equipment to do the job.
Rain can instantly make any surface slick, and if it’s heavy enough, it’ll lower visibility. It can also cause corrosion to your equipment. To extend the lifespan of your gear, always clear it of debris and properly dry and store it after use.
To protect yourself during these weather conditions, always allow your gear, such as harnesses and lanyards, dry completely before using them again. Once it’s dry, check it to make sure no damage has occurred that could decrease its performance, such as weakening.
4) Extreme Cold
The effects cold weather has on your body could lead to frostbite or even hypothermia. That’s why dressing for the cold is extremely important, even if you have a high tolerance for cold temperatures. When working at height, you don’t want to take any risks.
Whether this means wearing more than enough layers or bringing extra just in case, be sure that you’re ready for anything and take care of yourself. If you start to feel sick, communicate that with your team and take the measurements needed to ensure your safety and health.
Invest in waterproof boots—Wesco’s are a great options—and gloves to protect your extremities and change out of wet clothes as soon as possible. DBI-SALA’s drop protection equipment will ensure that your tools stay close to you, preventing them from falling on those below. When the cold stiffens your hands, or the elements make your tools slick, these are a must-have.
How to work against the elements
It’s important to note that the higher you’re working, the more intense the conditions. Always be prepared for anything.
While it may be sunny and comfortable on the ground, the winds around the top of a tall building may cause temperatures to drop drastically. If visibility is affected, be sure to wear hi-vis gear including helmets and reflective vests.
With ice, snow, or rain, fall protection gear will help to make sure your slips and falls are under control.
Layer up if the weather is looking colder, and always make sure to eat healthy food and drink plenty of water to keep up your endurance while working. Arborwear offers a line of clothing that includes hi-vis sweatshirts, chaps, and more. Kask hi-vis helmets will also increase your visibility while protecting you while you work.
No matter the at-height equipment you need, ShopMTN.com can make sure that you work comfortably and safely.