Outdoor Construction Worker Safety

Working an outdoor construction job can be nice. When it’s 70 degrees, with a pleasant breeze and a few clouds to sit right in front of the sun, you’re thankful that you’re not stuck in some office somewhere. Things are different when the weather turns sour.   

Rain, snow, wind, and extreme temperatures can make you wish for an indoor job. However, it’s not just about comfort. Inclement weather also puts your safety at risk. When conditions turn nasty, you need to take appropriate steps to protect yourself.  

Rain  

Staying dry is more than just a matter of comfort. Keeping the rain off your body also helps prevent sudden injuries and keeps you from developing more general health problems. To accomplish this, wear waterproof coverings in wet conditions.  

Proper footwear is also essential. The wet weather increases the dangers of slips and falls. Having slip-resistant footwear minimizes the risk of these common workplace injuries. Meanwhile, keeping your feet dry is a crucial goal as well, making waterproof footwear ideal for these conditions.   

Also, remain watchful for the way rain interacts with construction equipment. Water conducts electricity, so wet conditions can increase the danger of electrical shock. It can also impact traction and the operation of these machines.  

Cold and Snow  

Dealing with snow involves many of the same concerns as rain. The added moisture decreases traction, meaning that waterproof, anti-slip footwear remains essential. Meanwhile, you’re equally at risk for the dangers of getting wet (exacerbated by the cold). As such, you should also cover up with a waterproof outer layer.  

Cold conditions bring their own risks as well. On the extreme end of the spectrum, you could face hypothermia or frostbite.   

Make sure you are appropriately dressed for cold temperatures. Dress in layers and wear a hat. Meanwhile, protect your extremities against both cold and wetness. This means wearing gloves and warm, waterproof footwear.   

Extreme Heat   

Just like with the extreme cold, dealing with the heat involves wearing the proper clothes. It might seem obvious that this means a wardrobe consisting of tank tops and beach shorts. However, relying on these types of items can pose a safety risk.   

One of the most prominent heat-related injuries is something you might not think of as an “injury.” Namely: sunburn. Spending an eight-hour shift in the blazing sun causes a significant burn risk. That’s why, when working outdoors in the heat, OSHA suggests pants and loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts. These will cover you up and prevent damage from UV rays. You should also further protect yourself by using sunscreen.  

Sunburns aren’t the only heat-related danger. You also have to watch out for heat exhaustion, and the even more severe condition known as heat stroke. To avoid these serious conditions, drink plenty of water, take breaks, and find a place to regularly cool off (like an air-conditioned spot indoors, or even just somewhere in the shade).  

Staying safe on a construction job should always be your priority 

It should also be the top concern of your employer. Partnering with a strong recruiting firm, like LaborMax, lets you find positions where your wellbeing ranks as a major point of emphasis.  

Contact LaborMax today to learn what they can do to find you the perfect job for your skills and experience.