While spring and summer are peak construction months, cold weather doesn’t automatically shut down all construction sites. In fact, plenty of outdoor projects continue in the bone-chilling cold.
Despite below-zero temperatures in early 2018, crews continued work on the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge in New York. In January, the U.S. Army didn’t let cold weather shut down construction at Fort McCoy in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, either.
Yet cold weather construction projects present employee hazards that could cause serious injuries and health concerns that can slow down a project, resulting in the possibility of decreased profits and costly workers’ compensation claims.
Your company can alleviate winter injuries and claims with proper storage of extra gear to keep workers warm, and training supervisors to spot signs of cold weather injuries and conditions.
How to protect outdoor workers from cold stress:
Construction companies have a duty to protect employees from cold weather hazards that can lead to “cold stress” conditions. Such conditions may cause serious harm or death in the workplace, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
High winds, near-freezing or below-freezing temperatures, dampness from snow or rain and loss of body heat from sweating can all lead to cold stress injuries such as frostbite, hypothermia, and trench foot—a serious condition caused by soggy boots. Fortunately, if your construction site has extra gear on hand to keep workers warm and dry, you can reduce or prevent cold weather injuries.
OSHA also recommends that employers and supervisors closely monitor employees working outside in the cold and schedule frequent, short breaks in a warm, dry area where workers can find shelter from the cold. On-site radiant heaters and extra gear such as dry boots, coats and can also cut down on cold stress.
Preventing cold weather construction injuries:
Depending on the size of a construction site, it’s not always feasible to stow extra coats, boots, gloves, and protective equipment in work trucks or trailers, especially when those vehicles are susceptible to theft. Instead of spreading out supplies across several places, your business can use mobile storage to put extra gear, first aid supplies, portable heaters and other equipment in one location for easy access.
Portable heaters and other expensive equipment can also be safely stored out of the elements in a theft-resistant container. Properly stored equipment is more likely to remain in good working condition, reducing employee injuries due to machine malfunction or time spent preparing snow-covered or wet equipment.
Workers need to maneuver safely inside a mobile storage container, so make sure you choose mobile storage that filters in ambient light to help prevent workers from tripping while loading and unloading supplies.
Weighing up the benefits of mobile storage
Here at PODS, we love helping our customers solve problems and achieve their ambitions. Here’s a quick rundown of how our portable storage and logistics solutions like ours can benefit your business at winter jobsites:
Fewer cold weather injuries is good news for your bottom line. The cost of workplace injuries goes beyond workers’ compensation claims payment, medical bills, and potential litigation. Companies also get hit with indirect costs from worker injuries, including training replacement workers and spending time and money investigating accidents. By storing extra gear properly and safely in moisture-resistant PODS container, your company is reducing these risks.
Mobile storage discourages theft and vandalism. Your business can store supplies, cold weather gear, and expensive equipment in PODS theft-resistant containers, which workers can lock and leave overnight at the construction site.
On-site storage reduces work stoppages. If your workers don’t have extra dry coats, boots and gloves on hand in cold weather, you may have to halt construction for worker safety if they need to replace water-soaked attire. Even a one-day delay costs your business money. With mobile, weather-resistant storage, your project can continue, enabling your business to meet construction deadlines.
Off-site storage offers additional options. Want a place to store equipment or machinery between jobs? You can store your container at a secure PODS storage center for as long as you need—whether it be a few days or a few months. Storing supplies at a PODS secure facility also enables your business to load and unload off- site if desired, meaning the unit is fully equipped when PODS delivers it to the job site.
So, next time arctic blasts threaten to temporarily shut down your construction project, don’t let a lack of storage for extra cold weather gear derail your deadline. Your customers, and your employees, will appreciate it.
To learn more about how PODS can improve construction site profitability, visit , PODS for Business or call 877-BIZ-PODS today for a free quote.