With more than 20 years of experience in the plant hire industry, we’ve worked through many different bouts of weather spells, and winter is certainly one of the more challenging seasons when it comes to most industries we supply to. Harsh weather conditions, including heavy rainfall and snow and darker days, there are lots of precautions you should take during the winter months to ensure your team’s safety. With this in mind, we have collated some of the tips we have scooped up along our journey to help you keep safe in the winter months.
An essential for both indoor and outdoor work in the cold is a heater, make it a couple at that! Working in the construction industry means a lot of time is spent outside and can in extreme cases lead to cold stress in crew members. Cold stress can leave the crew feeling confused and disoriented which can not only be a hazard to them, but to the rest of the team.
Something we have learned is that when starting up a piece of plant machinery it is wise to leave the engine running so that it warms up before use, much like you would in a car. Using a machine that has been stationary in the cold without warming it up can cause stress on the engine and therefore components of the machine. Leaving it to run for a couple of minutes before use will reduce this stress, improving the longevity of the machine.
It may seem obvious, but make sure that the windows on your plant machinery are de-misted and clear enough to see through. A construction site can be a busy place with workers constantly going back and forth; keeping windows clear can diminish extra blind spots and therefore the chance of an accident occurring whilst operating any machinery on site.
Although the days are starting to get longer again there are still plenty of dark mornings and evenings ahead. We know how frustrating it can be trying to finish a project with the added pressure of completing it before the natural light disappears. A lighting tower is the perfect solution. Not only does it increase working hour possibilities but it is an important part of equipment for the safety of all those working on the site, illuminating parts of the site that could potentially cause a hazard if worked on in the dark. Simply set it up to where you require some light and let it shine whilst you carry on working to your heart’s content, knowing that it is also safe to do so.
The weather can bring unwanted problems to construction sites, even more so in the winter. Snow and ice can slow down the project process, so it is important to prepare for this by making sure you have the right equipment available to handle it. For example a bucket attachment can be used to scoop away any snow and a large dozer blade can be used to clear an icy area, excavator attachments are essential for a cold, icy day.
For waiting out a quick downpour or even for a warm break spot, a welfare unit is a must have for staff safety. We all know how cold it can get, especially when working early in the morning. Frequent breaks to warm up are encouraged and there is no better place to do so than a welfare unit located conveniently onsite.
The changing in seasons will always have an effect on the way we think about and operate plant hire… weather we like it or not! So being prepared for the extra steps we need to take to operate our construction sites is essential. For advice on what plant to hire during the colder months, give us a call on 0330 118 5030 or email us at email@example.com to find out how we can help you.