Winterize your home, winterize your car, winterize your yard – don’t forget to winterize your job site!
Scaffolding and Ladders
Winterizing scaffold equipment can be difficult. The only time employees can be on scaffolding during snowy or icy conditions is if all the snow or the ice is removed (1926.451(f)(8)). Scaffolding must still be secured and braced. And don’t forget the construction fencing, it needs to be secured and braced too. Keep the ladder rungs free of snow and ice as well. Thanks to snowy boots, the ladder rungs can get slippery – clear the bottoms of those boots before climbing.
Generator and Space Heater Safety
Generators running on gasoline ideally must be kept outside to prevent exposures to carbon monoxide and other combustion by products. Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless but very dangerous. Exposure may result in headaches and even death. Keep the air flowing. Heaters kept inside must be properly ventilated to minimize CO build up and the use of CO monitors are recommended. Materials cannot be stored closely to the generators and heaters to prevent fire hazards and keep that fire extinguisher close. It must be within 25-55 feet of the generator and heaters for easy access. And don’t forget the electrical parts – all generators must be GFCI protected and extension cords or tools being plugged into the generators must have a ground prong.
Ice and slipping hazards.
To prevent slips, trips, and falls – clear walking surfaces of snow and ice. Appropriate footwear for working in winter weather should have proper tread, be water proof, and insulated to keep the foot warm and dry. Employees should be encouraged to take shorter steps and walk at a slower pace during winter months. Here’s a hint: sand can be used if snow and ice has built up to help create traction.
Removal of snow can cause injury to the body. Injuries from shoveling snow may include exhaustion, dehydration, back strain, or heart attacks. Proper preventation includes taking frequent breaks in warm areas, properly warming up before starting, stretching, scooping smaller loads of snow at a time, pushing the snow instead of lifting, and using proper lifting techniques.
Can I get a recap?
- Generators must be kept outside.
- Heaters can give off CO and create hazardous atmospheres.
- Employees can only be on scaffolding that is free of snow and ice.
Snow shoveling can be a physical and health risk in addition to normal job site hazards.