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A new Web page created by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides guidance on how workers can avoid snowstorm-related hazards.
Harsh winter weather can put workers in danger at the same time as it wreaks havoc with a home builder’s work schedule and the job site, according to OSHA.
Hazards associated with working on home building job sites during the winter can include:
- Being struck by falling objects such as icicles, tree limbs and utility poles
- Driving accidents on slippery roadways
- Exhaustion from strenuous activity
- Back injuries or heart attacks while removing snow
- Slips and falls on slippery walkways
- Falls from snow removal off of roofs, while working on ladders or from aerial lifts
- Scaffold platforms becoming frozen and slippery
- Dehydration and hypothermia
To effectively address these hazards, OSHA says that workers should:
- Use caution around surfaces weighed down by large amounts of snow or ice
- Clear walking surfaces of snow and ice and use salt or its equivalent where appropriate
- Use fall protection and ladders provided and maintained by employers
- Make certain all powered equipment is properly guarded and disconnected from power sources before cleaning or performing maintenance
- Wear reflective clothing and eye, face and body protection
- Establish and clearly mark work zones
- Suspend work during high winds and winter storms
Employers should ensure that their vehicles are prepared for the winter season. This includes checking to see that the brakes, cooling system, electrical system, engine, exhaust, tires, oil, lights, defrosters and wipers are working properly.
Vehicles should be equipped with an emergency kit containing blankets, flashlights, extra clothes, shovel, tow chain, matches, traction aids, flares, jumper cables and non-perishable snacks and water.
For more information, email Marcus Odorizzi at NAHB, or call him at 800-368-5242 x8590.
The video provides an overview of the key safety issues that residential builders and workers need to focus on to reduce accidents and injuries.
Based on the NAHB-OSHA Jobsite Safety Handbook, this DVD is intended to be used as part of an essential residential construction safety-training program and includes two 20-minute videos on one DVD.
To view or purchase this DVD online, click here, or call 800-223-2665.