Winter Whirls in Jobsite Challenges

The forecast has arrived: weather-related jobsite challenges will continue to snowball all winter.

This week, cities across the United States issued wind chill warnings, advising individuals to stay indoors. Fortunately, some employers excused time off. Others, however, dialed-in for overtime. During emergencies like these, yes, even when a “polar vortex” whirls in record-breaking low temperatures, skilled tradespeople keep the power and the water running.

Harsh jobsite conditions and frigid temperatures make professionals think twice about their own safety, while also looking out for their brothers and sisters in the field. From winter wearables to safety supplies, when the next big chill hits, keep these tips in mind to help prevent weather-related incidents.

When Mother Nature has her own plans, skilled tradespeople are called to the job to ensure our communities have all that it takes to support day-to-day operations — no matter the conditions.

Bundled Up for Business

When working in cold conditions, your body prioritizes keeping your internal core temperature warm. If body heat is lost faster than it is replaced, blood flow shifts from the outer skin to the chest and abdomen, increasing the risk of frostbite, hypothermia and trench foot. These risks can spark after just a four-degree decrease in body temperature, especially in the presence of consistent wetness, such as trudging through piled-up snow.

A commitment to getting the job done isn’t all that it takes to beat below freezing temperatures. Tradespeople must sport the necessary personal protection and safety gear to protect against cold related illnesses. Try to bundle up in at least three layers of loose-fitting thermal clothing, avoiding cotton materials, which lose insulation when wet.

Important safety measures help prevent jobsite slips and falls year-round but even more so while working despite icy conditions. Work boots, or even cleat attachments, designed with maximum traction and water-resistance provide professionals with the warmth and preparedness to travel between jobsites. Keep Klein Tools' Tradesman Pro™ Shoe Covers on hand to prevent tracking wet or messy footprints wherever the job takes you.

Snow Day Safety Supplies

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, adverse weather conditions result in over one million vehicle crashes and five thousand fatalities annually. On top of wearing everyday cold weather gear, tradespeople should schedule frequent vehicle maintenance checks and keep their work vans prepped with snow day supplies to help safely travel the extra mile. This means stocking up on items like ice scrapers and deicers as well as equipment in case of emergencies, such as jumper cables and even spare work clothes.

After completing years of training, skilled professionals are well versed on jobsite safety practices that prevent hazards and accidents. Always remember to exercise extreme caution when working on or near high-voltages, de-energizing power sources and analyzing any possible hazards.

What extra steps do you take to ensure safety when jobsite conditions worsen? Share your personal experiences with us on social media.