How to improve onsite safety in winter

Winter. The coldest season of the year, bringing with it snow, ice, strong winds and inevitably rain. Lots of rain.

Cold, wet conditions are a recipe for trouble in any environment – but on a worksite, they can spell disaster. Not only do they make the risk of accidents much greater, but any resulting injuries are also likely to be more serious.

Yet work can’t stop just because the mercury has dropped, or conditions are wet. So what can be done to keep workers safe and reduce the risk of accidents during winter?

Here the team at HR Kilns – specialists in manufacturing durable, anti-slip products from glass reinforced plastic – take a look at some of the small steps you can take that can make a big difference to site safety.

The threats  

Accidents – particularly slips and trips – increase during winter. The Health and Safety Executive identifies the reasons for this as:

– Fallen leaves becoming wet and slippery

– Ice and snow

– Reduced light levels

The good news is there are a number of ways you can reduce the danger posed by these conditions – regardless of the size of your site.

How to increase safety

1.    Check lights levels

Fewer daylight hours and frequent poor visibility even when the sun is up, can significantly increase the risk of accidents. To counter this, ensure there is adequate lighting around the site. Check all the main routes – inside and out – and don’t forget to review the less well used areas too. It’s worth speaking to the team for their opinion on whether you need to make improvements in any specific areas.

Stair and stairways are an obvious area that need good lighting. You can also boost the visibility of step edges by fitting GRP step covers. Not only do these increase grip underfoot but they also have a photoluminescent strip that remains visible for up to 20 hours after the light source is removed.  

2.    Act quickly to clear walkways

Fallen leaves, snow and ice are the chief culprits for causing a hazard in winter months, so when you spot them act quickly. Brush up leaves, clear snow and be sure to grit in advance if the weatherman predicts a frost – prevention is always better than a cure.

Enhance safety further by investing in GRP walkways and platforms. With an in-built grip, they offer increased protection against slips and work well in all icy, oily and slippery conditions.

3.    Ensure handrails are in place and secure

Start to fall and what is the first thing you do? Put your hands out to grab something.

Essential then to make sure you have secure, easy to grip handrails in place.

4.    Provide proper equipment and workwear

The cold is proven to make workers less alert and less effective. Prolonged exposure can also lead to serious health conditions.

Make sure you’re getting the best out of your team by providing adequate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). It’s also a good idea to offer a safe and heated environment for breaks. Somewhere the workforce can take shelter and warm up.

Boost your winter safety with GRP products from HR Kiln

Like the sound of the protection offered by GRP products but not sure we’re offering quite what you’re looking for? Then get in touch and chat with us directly. We’re always happy to discuss individual requirements and will do everything in our power to match what it is you’re looking for with our bespoke GRP service.

With cost-effective solutions, we can assist with design, manufacture, fabrication and installation – wherever you are in the UK. So don’t delay a moment longer. Call 01695 557 711 or email sales@hrkilns.com.

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