Winter Wonderland – Working in Construction in the Winter Months
13th December 2015
Working in construction in the winter months can be hard! Conditions such as cold sores, arthritis, asthma, joint pain and even heart attacks are linked with prolonged exposure to cold weather. Here at Bromak, we acknowledge that keeping workers as healthy and happy as possible is a top priority, so we’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks to help keep you nice and warm when working outdoors this winter.
1. Use gloves, not pockets!
Keeping your hands in your pockets can be tempting when working outdoors. We’re sure everyone is aware of the increased risk of walking with your hands in your pockets, but it’s even more dangerous in winter! Slipping on icy floors is dangerous enough as it is, never mind when your hands are in your pockets. For this we heavily suggest wearing gloves when outdoors. When using tools such as hammers normal gloves or mittens won’t be an issue, whereas as intricate finger-work can be difficult, for this maybe try fingerless gloves. If the task you’re doing requires specific gloves as part of your PPE you could wear your normal gloves as well.
2. Layer up!
This one is obvious but essential. Remember to wear as many layers as you can without restricting any movement or blood flow in order to get as much insulation as possible. Thermal socks, hats and scarfs make a world of difference! The most important part of this is to never forget to make sure your high vis items of clothing are on your outer-most layer. Remember, safety first!
3. Stick the kettle on!
Drinking warm fluids such as brews, or even soup, is key to keeping warm inside and out. Plus everyone loves the satisfaction of holding a nice warm mug in those icy hands.
(Pro tip: Avoid drinking coffee before a strenuous task. Caffeine increases your heart rate along with increasing the risk of constricted blood vessels. This also applies to nicotine, so leave that cigarette until after the task is complete.)
4. Get your blood flowing!
One of the easiest ways to stay warm when working outside is to keep yourself moving. Movement creates heat, so getting the blood flowing will definitely help towards keeping you warm. Just remember that the body sweats in order to cool itself down, so wearing extra layers will help to absorb any sweat you produce. Also, bringing a change of clothing couldn’t hurt!
5. Salt can be a saviour!
Icy floors can be your worst enemy. Avoid using warm/hot water to thaw any ice or snow on floors, as this water is likely to freeze over soon after. A good trick for this is a mixture of rock salt and sand. The rock salt works towards melting the ice and snow, with the added benefit of not being able to freeze over. Using sand on top of this will help create traction on the floor to make sure the surface is less slippery in general.