Wet weather construction site safety rules and regulations

Safety on construction sites is of great importance, especially in bad weather when wet conditions can lead to a number of hazards. Here Barry Eagle, Managing Director of GripClad, highlights a number of ways to make construction sites safer

Without the proper health and safety measures, including anti-slip walkways, construction sites can be exposed to a variety of hazards, risking your workers becoming statistics on workplace injuries.

There is an instant risk of injury at work when conditions at a site worsen due to changing weather conditions. Heavy Where light rain, creating a humid environment, can increase the likelihood of an accident, such as a slip, trip or fall. When comparing workplace statistics, the construction industry is consistently identified as one of the most risky sectors or occupations, rivaled only by modern agricultural practices.

What is more important to consider, even beyond the initial injury figures that occur on construction sites, is that nearly half of all accidents are due to falling from heights (according to the HSE, or the Health and Safety Executive, it is almost 47%). When looking at non-fatal construction injuries, the same report concludes there has been an average of 61,000 over the past three-year period. According to the HSE, 26% of injuries were caused by “slips, trips and falls”.

Without proper safety controls, a construction site is naturally risk averse. But wet, windy and unpredictable weather can dramatically increase if it gets worse, the risks on construction sites. During the colder months and during the winter, when crosswalks, stairs and guardrails become more dangerous, anti-slip products can help improve the safety of your site.

Weather is a natural and everyday hazard on construction sites, especially when grip and visibility are reduced. But there are best practices to consider to keep your construction site safe, which requires constant vigilance and the best flooring materials.

Workplace safety must be a priority

The highest priority for any construction site will be the health and safety of workers entering and working on site projects. In the UK, accidents at work cost businesses around £5.6 billion each year. But it’s not so easy to calculate Cost workers’ compensation because an accident – especially when a worker is off for more than 7 days – can mean that your skilled workforce is reduced and the completion of a project is delayed.

The unfortunate irony of workplace injuries is that they are often preventable. Slips, trips and falls can all be reduced when the right flooring materials are used to improve grip and visibility. A safe construction site is one that knows common risk areas and how they change with the seasons. Risk reduction is only half of the equation; safety is also about empowering workers to take control of their tasks with the assurance that injuries are less likely.

Perform a site inspection

Inspections should be both thorough and frequent, ie regular enough to detect changing risks. A construction site in summer, for example, will be exposed to different risks than projects in winter when conditions are wetter. This part of the process is the perfect time to review and assess current risks, but also to spot any flaws in the site, including faulty equipment, signage or badly worn flooring.

Depending on the severity of the risks, site managers should consider implementing a strategy that helps visitors and workers stay safe, such as appropriate and up-to-date signage. You could even close off access to parts of a site if they are affected by spills or water. It is important to consider how hazards can arise even in the most unlikely places.

Use visible signs to warn of hazards on site

Uncontrollable hazards, or areas where parts of a site are faulty, should be clearly marked to workers, informing anyone who accesses them of the potential hazards. Without visibility, hazards can go unnoticed, increasing the risk of injury. A sign that notifies jobsite workers when surfaces are getting wet is a good way to indicate how weather conditions will affect working conditions on a project.

Relevant signage can also help workers stay up-to-date on general health and safety changes, policies and reminders. These updates may contain mission-critical security information, such as a reminder on proper footwear, weather forecasts, or they may simply justify why the security policies were updated. Of course, stakeholder investment in safety policy will spread confidence within a workforce, reassuring them that health is truly a priority.

Anti-slip is key to giving construction workers control of their footing

Inspections and signage are two detailed ways that managers can predict risk and reduce the likelihood of injury. But, when it comes to physically modifying your site to cope with the harsh realities of UK weather, it should start with the flooring materials. This is especially important if your site operates largely outdoors and exposure to unpredictable weather is a hazard you’re not sure you can handle.

Many materials that you may initially use for flooring will do well in the first few weeks (and possibly months) of a construction project. But, over time, inferior flooring materials can degrade, creating a hazard in hotspots like roof walkways, walkways at industrial sites, or stairways.

Sites may even have very dangerous areas, such as roof access points, where anti-slip will be essential to ensure workers maintain control of their position. Materials should be lightweight without compromising sturdiness, so they can withstand frequent wear and tear without the risk of collapsing.

Interior spaces will also need to consider the materials used to create access routes, ensuring they are fit for purpose. You’ll also need to plan for “transition” points, where different floor coverings meet. The objective of the flooring should be to create a smooth transition between parts of a site without the terrain becoming an obstacle, or the flooring itself eroding, wearing out or does not become a distraction.

The materials you can use range from GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic) gratings, slip resistant sheets and panels to stair treads for slippery steps. Site priorities will vary, but there are effective and economical options that provide site options to create more secure access points and gateways.

Many anti-slip solutions are unobtrusive (rather than creating a visual distraction) and flexible in their operation to improve site safety measures. Resistant sheets and panels, creating a layer of adhesion, can be attached to surfaces to improve accessibility and security objectives on a site. Above all, anti-slip solutions are an invisible workhorse, landing on potentially dangerous surfaces or high-traffic areas to optimize safety.

Anti-Slip is a practical yet versatile grip layer that is a workhorse in all conditions, but especially in wet or freezing weather, on steep inclines and oily areas, and even on high traffic parts of a site.

Make sure entrances and exits are unobstructed and signposted

If you plan to approach high-traffic areas, consider entrances, exit points, and other accessibility routes into a room. These areas on site should be equipped with non-slip pads, which will reduce the risk of slipping, tripping or falling. The success of anti-slip solutions here will be partly determined by their resistance and versatility, as well as their performance over time. (The resilience of materials to withstand harsh conditions is, in part, tied to how cost effective they are in performance. If it wears out quickly and needs to be replaced or maintained, then it’s not very cost effective.)

The final consideration with exits (and, in some cases, entrances) is that proper signage works with flooring solutions to help workers navigate sites, especially in the event of a fire or disaster. emergency. Doors, for example, should serve as exit routes, for example to evacuate due to hazards. Obstacles should be minimized in these areas and clear, marked routes should be provided to help site navigation feel safe.

Stairs are common tripping hazards

Stairs, whether interior Where outdoors, are common tripping hazards. Whether you’re traveling up or down, the risk of slipping – and resulting injury – is increased. This, of course, is both a risk to employees and a threat of liability.

In these cases, stair nosings create a tough, hard-wearing, non-slip edge that adds grip to the surface.

When it comes to preventing accidents, the fundamentals of construction site safety remain valuable: policies, regular risk assessments, and non-slip, hard-wearing flooring are some of the best tools of the trade. Beyond that, common sense, training, and signage are also valuable and can shape safety outcomes. But, in the end, site management comes down to predicting where hazards will occur and understanding what steps can be taken to reduce the likelihood of injury.

Alice F. Ponder