There are over 54,000 non-fatal injuries to construction workers each year; 25% of which are caused by slips, trips or falls on the same level and 12% are from being struck by a moving (flying/falling) object (HSE.gov). In particular, snow and ice can multiply the risks of working on a construction site. Ladders, scaffolding and entries/exits to sites can become extremely dangerous if the proper precautions aren’t taken.
Increasing awareness amongst workers of all immediate risks is a vital part of reducing the number of accidents and minimising the dangers onsite. If workers are aware of those dangers, they are more likely to take the proper precautions with their equipment and in the areas which they tread when navigating the site.
How can you make workers more aware?
Hazard and safety signage. Signage is a legal requirement on any construction site due to the nature of the equipment used and hazardous areas of work. This means the importance of ice and snow signage is rapidly growing as the weather gets colder. Whether it’s to warn workers of potential falling icicles, or black ice on walkways/roads around site, there are many reasons to ensure workers know what to look for and how to avoid falling victim to the harsh winter conditions.
Most ice-related accidents, as you might expect, occur on outdoor surfaces. This means that the roads around site are as important as the site itself when it comes to hazard signage. Car parks, driveways and walkways are among the riskiest areas of a site, where workers are travelling to and from their vehicles. However, around 8% of ice slips/falls occur indoors due to ice being tracked inside by footwear. (Bongarde.com)