Three Winter Safety Tips for Construction Workers

Three Winter Safety Tips for Construction Workers

The leaves have turned, the sky has gone gray and the temperature has dropped. Fall is officially transitioning to winter, and as it does, TP Mechanical applies our “safety first, always first” mantra to help construction workers deal with the additional challenges they face on the job during the colder months.

Whether its colder temperatures, inclement weather or increased jobsite hazards, winter presents several threats to worker health and safety. Here are three tips to keep construction workers safe in extreme and unusual work conditions.

Tip #1 – Stay Warm by Wearing Winter Gear and Limiting Outdoor Exposure

The most obvious threat winter poses to worker safety is cold and inclement weather. Being aware of daily forecasts and requiring workers to wear the right gear for the job are paramount to keeping them healthy and safe. Boots, gloves, hats, heavy coats, rain gear and more are all essentials to staying warm and preventing hypothermia. Additionally, providing workers with a warm environment for short and frequent breaks can go a long way in protection from the harsh elements.

Health issues, from as minor as a common cold to as severe as hypothermia or frostbite, are often more likely to pop up during the winter, and proper protection can’t always prevent them. Properly educating workers on what symptoms to look for may help them remove themselves from the elements before it becomes dangerous to their health and seek medical treatment sooner.

Here are signs and symptoms of hypothermia:

  • Cool skin
  • Slower, irregular breathing
  • Slower heartbeat
  • Weak pulse
  • Uncontrollable shivering
  • Severe shaking
  • Rigid muscles
  • Drowsiness
  • Exhaustion
  • Slurred speech
  • Memory lapses

The following are signs and symptoms of frostbite:

  • Paleness of the skin
  • Sensation of coldness or pain
  • Pain disappears after a while with the freezing of the tissues.
  • Tissues become increasingly whiter and harder.

Tip #2 – Inspect All Jobsites Daily

Winter weather often means snow and ice, creating additional fall hazards on a worksite. Snow and ice should be removed from the jobsite prior to allowing workers into it. Putting down salt is key to preventing slips and falls from refreeze.

During the winter, weather changes can often be severe and sudden. Precautions should be taken to ensure plans are in place if bad weather strikes without warning to keep workers safe (e.g., utilizing proper lighting and signage on the jobsite in case visibility is decreased).

Tip #3 – Prepare Necessary Vehicles for the Cold

In addition to completing a full inspection of any vehicles before they enter a jobsite, make sure they are stocked with necessities for dealing with winter weather. Supply vehicles with winter emergency kits including items like:

  • Flashlights
  • Extra Batteries
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Blankets
  • Ice Scrapers
  • Shovels
  • Tow Chains
  • Emergency Flares

These items aren’t simply useful commodities – they can be life-saving if conditions on a jobsite degrade rapidly without warning or if another emergency occurs. Make sure every worker knows where to find the kit in every vehicle on the jobsite.

”Safety first, always first” rings true year-round, but winter weather presents different challenges. Taking proper precautions on the jobsite and providing workers with the necessary gear and knowledge to stay warm and safe are critical this time of year.

For more information

Learn more about how safety is a way of life at TP Mechanical and then Contact Us to see how we can provide comprehensive mechanical services for your next project.

Sheet Metal Journeyman Position Openings

sheet-metal_ad_march2017We have Sheet Metal Journeyman position openings in our Cincinnati and Columbus locations.

To learn more about this position visit us at http://www.tpmechanical.com/job/sheet-metal-journeyman/ or contact Jen Madden 513-851-8881.

Career Opportunities!

plumbing_pipefitter_ad_march2017_v2We are looking for experienced Plumbers and Pipefitters for our Cincinnati, Columbus, and Dayton locations.

For position details visit our career page http://www.tpmechanical.com/careers or contact Jen Madden 513-851-8881.

Safety: Ladders & Stairways

There are some hazards on the job site that seem obvious and some that need a little more attention from workers.

While the importance of ladder safety is communicated heavily at job sites, there are some workers and managers who unknowingly neglect to speak about the dangers of stairways.

According to OSHA, there are more than 24,000 injuries and as many as 36 fatalities per year due to falls on stairways and ladders used in construction.

The good news is that many of the accidents around ladders and stairways are preventable when the proper measures are taken prior to starting a job.

With Ladders

  • Use the correct ladder for the task
  • Never load ladders beyond the manufacturer’s rated capacity
  • Ensure that metal ladders are kept way from electrical work and overhead power lines
  • Have a worker partner inspect for any defects
  • Look for structural damage, grease or other slippery contaminant

With Stairways

  • Stairways must be free of dangerous objects, debris and materials
  • Cover stairs with threads to avoid a slippery surface
  • Stairways with four or more risers or that rise more than 30 inches need to have a least one handrail
  • Stair handrails must be free of hazards like splinters and nails

Save The Earth and Save Some Moolah!

Our prefabrication capabilities help us reduce the environmental impact of our projects. We thought we’d add that prefabrication can also reduce the impact on your bottom line.

Prefabrication streamlines your construction process. From materials to time spent on the job site – you spend less. Here’s how:

  • We plan our use of materials down to the ounce to ensure economical use of resources and reduce waste. This also ensures pricing accuracy and helps you stay within budget.
  • We build as many pieces as possible in-house in a controlled environment, so that inclement weather won’t destroy your materials and you don’t have delays at the job site.
  • Everything is built at bench level, ensuring accuracy and quality of every piece, costing you less in change orders later.

Everything is pre-assembled and arrives at your job site ready to be installed. This reduces the number of workers you have to have on the job, improves site safety and accelerates your timeline. You save money in reduction of personnel and all related costs, including insurance, site facilities and man hours.

How carbon monoxide levels can be indicated by a hard hat!

bigstock-Hard-Hat-With-Path-577880Safety for construction workers has stepped up a notch. A group of researchers have discovered a way to measure carbon monoxide levels and protect construction workers while they are working.  They are using hard hats with sensors to measure this poisonous chemical.  Read more via Sensor-equipped construction helmet can detect carbon monoxide.  Share with us your thoughts on the possible benefits.

Safety Matters!

As participants in OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) we’ve implemented meticulous safety and health management practices that address hazard prevention and control, worksite analysis, training, management commitment and worker involvement. We voluntarily submit to rigorous evaluations to identify ways that we can continue to improve our system. Our first core value is “Safety First, Always First,” and we will relentlessly pursue the highest standard so that we can send each of our employees home to their families every night, injury-free.

This is why as of today April 19, 2013 TP Mechanical has worked 2,329,627 hours without a lost-time accident.

TPM-SafetyFirstAlways2_1-30-13

Safety is a team effort

bigstock-Safety-First-Vector-7506065Superintendents can’t be everywhere at once. That’s why TP Mechanical works tirelessly to empower our employees to protect themselves and each other.

Safety is a team effort

One of the most effective strategies contributing to our safety success is our Job Safety Analysis (JSA) procedure. Recent reports indicate that 76% of injuries on the job are caused by inattention and complacency of workers on the site. The JSA is a critical tool in combatting inattention.

The TP Safety Department, in conjunction with Superintendent and Project Management, helped create a streamlined, user-friendly JSA document to help save superintendents valuable time. Together with intensive employee education and open lines of communication between team leader and team member, our JSA procedure is swift, thorough and effective.

The conditions on any given job site are constantly changing, requiring relentless vigilance on the part of every man and woman present. It’s our belief that the responsibility for safety rests with every team member in the field.

Heightened environmental awareness means workers take the appropriate precautions to keep their areas hazard-free. TP Mechanical trains all employees on every aspect of jobsite safety, while emphasizing the fine points of their specific trades or assignments. When TP Mechanical is on the job, the workers know their areas as thoroughly as their supervisors, allowing them to take ownership of their protection.

Before daily work begins, superintendents walk the job site, reviewing a checklist specific to every trade or specialty present. They then meet with team members in every area to discuss the hazards and safety procedures related to the work they will do that day. Workers are asked to communicate any issues they have identified. This back-and-forth communication ensures that every individual is on the same page and working to eliminate potential hazards before they can become accidents. Last but not least, every team member in a designated work area must sign the JSA at the beginning and end of every work session.

The TP Mechanical commitment to safety begins with the belief, dedication and unwavering support of upper management and the true abilities of all TP employees to embrace our company’s first core value of “Safety First, Always First.” With a strong belief in this, all TP employees exemplify how safety should be conducted throughout the industry. The ongoing evaluations and feedback provided by TP employees allows our company to be a front runner in safety.

TP Mechanical hours worked without a lost-time accident are..

TPM-SafetyFirstAlways2_1-30-13As of April 5, 2013 our employees have worked 2,301,885 hours without a lost-time accident.  Congratulations for your continued success for upholding our first core value Safety First, Always First!