There is one component in the construction industry in which we have no control over, the weather. However, we can control how the weather affects our safety in the working environment.
Weather types include:
Wind: Can blow dust or other hazardous material in workers eyes. Can blow materials and
people off scaffolds, roofs or higher floors. Can blow down poorly braced formwork or newly
Lightning: Often electrical storms occur without any rain and is very dangerous. Be sure to stay
away from any type of tall object and metal. If working around iron, rebar or on the roof and
lightning is seen, stop work immediately and clear the area.
Rain, Sleet, Ice and Snow: All four are wet, some are cold, and all can cause slips, trips and
falls. Snow, sleet and ice can cover floor openings and cause slips, trips and falls. Mud can
result in pulled muscles from straining. All four can ruin construction materials. Water, ice and
snow can affect trenches and other excavations. Closely inspect all excavations to determine
how the weather is impacting them. Water, when it accumulates on a jobsite, increases the
chances for electrocution.
Heat Exhaustion/Heat Stroke: During summer months we can be exposed to heat exhaustion.
Excessive heat causes incidents in many ways. It becomes more difficult to concentrate on the
job, you sweat, you get tired and nervous, and begin making errors in judgment. When the
temperature exceeds 90 degrees, workers need to be aware of the danger signs.
Remember to utilize our worker safety engagement process and when there is a major change to the work or a major hazard is identified like severe weather without a control- STOP! Ask what other weather factors can adversely impact the jobsite. Walk the job with your team prior to each day of work to identify potential hazards from weather not addressed in your JSA or PTP.