Winter has been relatively mild for New York construction workers so far this season, but do not expect the moderate temperatures to hold. The 2015-2016 El Niño cycle will bring unpredictable cold snaps and severe weather like blizzards, so construction firms must have a plan in place to handle these risks. Read more
Expert Tips on Getting Ready for Snow Removal
Winter 2015–2016 is coming up fast. Contracting companies should anticipate it by having a comprehensive snow removal plan for any new construction sites or any outdoor work in general. Construction work cannot safely continue as long as there is ice and snow covering up areas where projects are underway. Read more
Cold Weather Construction Checklist
Brace yourselves — winter is coming! These words aren’t just for popular television series; they’re a call to action for anyone in the construction and contracting industry. This time of year is especially hazardous for construction workers, with low temperatures, slippery surfaces and other conditions caused by inclement weather and environmental factors. It’s always a good idea to have a cold weather construction checklist to manage your liability in terms of financial and human costs. Now is the time to prep for working during the winter.
Dangers of Cold Weather Building
Building in winter actually makes many construction projects impossible. Concrete won’t always set properly. There are dangers from cold metal, slippery surfaces and more. Even with modern equipment that allows you to mitigate some of the risks, working in the winter is not an optimal choice. This is why many contractors close up shop in those four months. They spend the time hiring, getting ready for spring projects, taking on smaller, seasonal jobs and the like.
Advantages of Cold Weather Work
There are many advantages to making a go of it in the winter months. Competition will be down, since so many businesses close in the winter months. Supplies and costs of leasing equipment and tools will be far lower since fewer people are looking to use them. There will be less distraction and crowding.
While winter work carries its own risks, it can also provide a lot of benefits. You need to decide what is best for you and your business.
Follow this Checklist
For those who do decide to go it in the winter — and there are many reasons to do so — a checklist is vital to make sure that your job site and workers remain safe and stable. Ask yourself important questions such as:
- Is the jobsite insulated from cold weather?
- Can jobs be undertaken in the cold?
- Have your workers been given proper training on cold weather procedures and protective equipment?
- Do you have the right personal protective equipment (PPE) for your workers, including coats, hats, gloves, and boots?
- Are first aid policies solid and are there readily available supplies?
- Can you insulate and keep equipment and tools free from ice, snow or mud that can foul their operation and create risks?
- Will there be easy access to the job site in case of snow or inclement weather?
- Can you exercise solid wind and temperature control?
- Have your workers been trained to recognize the symptoms of frostbite and/or hypothermia?
- Do you have the staff to properly rotate job assignments?
- Do you have heated areas where workers can go to take breaks and warm up?
- Can you keep your workers hydrated and provide access to broth, soup, coffee, tea, hot cocoa or other warm beverages?
- Do you have the proper contractors insurance coverage to deal with cold weather dangers?
Winter is about to get a whole lot chillier over the next week. Cold, arctic air from the northern-most regions of Canada and Alaska is about to swoop down and turn the five boroughs into a winter wonderland. While that might be a great opportunity for you to take the kids out sledding or a snowball fight, it can make working outside downright dangerous. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive list of winter weather safety tips that should make the next couple months a lot less troublesome.
OSHA’s Top 10 Winter Weather Safety Tips for NY Contractors
OSHA or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has made it a priority to make sure that contractors who are working during the winter months are prepared for what the cold has in store. A few years ago they published a cold stress card which, we still feel is one of the best points of reference for those contractors who decide to operate during the winter. Here are their top 10 winter weather safety tips for NY contractors.
Take note of the environment. If it looks too dangerous, re-evaluate and plan accordingly.
Understand the signs of cold-induced illnesses and injuries (such as hypothermia). It will save you and your employees during a time of emergency.
Train your employees on how to identify cold-induced injuries and illnesses because they will need to know how to react if you’re not around.
Encourage employees to wear proper winter clothing if they are planning on working in frigid conditions.
5. Take Breaks
Sometimes the slower party wins the race. Short, frequent, sheltered breaks will help your employees stay warm. They’ll also be more physically and mentally acute.
Try to work during the warmest part of the day in order to avoid costly setbacks and injuries.
Avoid exhaustion which can occur easily when energy is expelled to keep muscles warm. The warmer your employees are the more productive they’ll be.
8. Use the Buddy System
Accidents happen, but with the buddy system your employees will be able to identify danger signs much more easily.
9. Eat Warm, Drink Warm
Warm, high calorie foods (like pasta) and warm, sweet, de-caffeinated beverages are excellent at keeping the body at a desirable temperature in frigid conditions.
Their may be an increased risk of injury if employees are taking certain medications, are ill or are unfit for work. So, make remember who is best suited for you.
We hope our top 10 winter weather safety tips for NY contractors will keep you and your employees safe over the next couple months. If you have any further questions please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-649-9094. We look forward to hearing from you!
Snow hasn’t started falling… yet. That might be troublesome for those of you who are snow removal contractors but, don’t worry, it will start falling soon. And once it does, we’re sure your fleet will be ready. But, what happens when you run into your first bit of trouble this winter? Trouble that could take a few of your vehicles (or vehicle, if you only have one) off the road. To avoid such a traumatic experience, you may want to consider acquiring snow plow insurance. And here’s why.
Snow Plow Insurance
If you own a snowplow (or fleet of snow plows) you will likely need to attach a snow plow insurance policy to your commercial auto and truck policy. Insuring your snow plow might also be required by law (depending on local and state regulations) so be sure to check with your provider before you send your fleet onto the road this winter. You do not want to have to deal with the fines associated with uninsured vehicles. The good part is most states require you to have insurance before you can obtain a permit so you shouldn’t have to worry too much if you’re unsure as to whether or not you are covered. But, it’s still worth checking up on. As with most niche policies there are a variety of coverages that you can apply to your sun plow insurance policy. Listed below are a few of the most popular coverages that people apply towards said policy.
- Liability Insurance – you are legally required to carry liability insurance in most states (and in most contracts as well). This coverage is designed to protect you in the event that someone is injured as a result of actions taken by your company (by paying for their medical expenses). It also covers any accidental damage your plows or employees may cause.
- Collision – Whenever you are operating a vehicle there is always a chance of a collision (no matter how careful you are). And damage from auto collisions can get expensive. With collision coverage you won’t have to worry about the cost of repairing your snow plow, your insurance provider has got it covered.