Taking Precautions with Wintry Weather and Working Outside | Health and Safety

Here in Great Britain if we stopped working outside when the
weather was bad, we’d never get anything done.

Winter is long and unpredictable and can bring a whole host of
uncomfortable and potentially dangerous working conditions.
However, there are a few precautions you can take to ensure your
working day is as safe, comfortable and productive as possible.

Dress to Impress

It sounds obvious, but dress for the weather.
Wrap up warm and waterproof, and choose suitable footwear with
non-slip soles to ensure safety on the ground and above. Remember
your extremities, such as your hands, feet, nose and ears, are more
vulnerable in cold weather!

Wet Wet Wet

In wet or rainy conditions choose a ladder
with non-slip feet and proper grip on the rungs. Watch out for
slippery patches on the ground and think carefully about your
ladder placement.

High and Dry

Working at height carries inherent risks, but
there are multiplied exponentially in high winds. Don’t be tempted
to work in really high winds but if you absolutely have to work on
a blustery day, make sure to select the most sheltered place
possible to place your ladder and use a sturdy, heavy model rather
than a lightweight or fiberglass one. Consider recruiting an extra
pair of hands to help keep you steady.

It’s Cold Outside

Only use a ladder in snow or ice if it’s
absolutely necessary. If you have to work at height under these
conditions make sure you use spike or spur-type safety shoes on the
ladder feet and make absolutely sure they are properly gripped in
place. Assess the surface you’re leaning the ladder against – is
there ice, snow or water that could make it slippery? Clean off any
compacted snow or ice from your shoes before climbing the

Work Smart

If conditions are really worsening, don’t
give in to the pressure to get things done. No job is worth risking
your health and safety over. Stay inside and monitor the weather
until conditions improve.