Winter Height Access Reassessment

February 15 2019
48382391_323437321831293_2409713142545252352_o

Winter is already here, and the weather conditions are changing at the speed of light. New York and other Northeastern states experience chilly, slippery, and icy weather conditions. Heavy snowfalls aren’t rare in December. Roads get blocked, happy school kids get days off, and homeowners get an excellent shoveling exercise.

In construction, window cleaning, façade repair, and other businesses that require height access, the work never stops. Since time is money, taking a break is hardly possible. When you are forced to work in winter, you need to prepare for the project in a different manner than you would in other seasons.

Unfortunately, many companies ignore the weather condition changes and continue working as they usually do. As a result, they risk the welfare of their workers and the integrity of their height access equipment. Let’s discuss the important points of winter height access reassessment.

  1. A Higher Risk Of Slips

As the weather worsens, the surfaces get slippery. Even though the workers carry numerous safety equipment, the increased number of slips and falls can delay the work process even if everyone stays safe in the end.

It’s important to consider the tripping and slipping hazards and teach the workers to react accordingly. The overall speed of the project may be reduced, but not as much as it would with constant slipping.

  1. The Weight Of Snow

Snow adds a certain weight to the construction equipment, especially when it falls heavily. You have to reconsider the weight limits with the snow in mind. Cleaning the height access equipment on a regular basis is vital to keeping it working properly after a snowfall.

  1. Hazardous Conditions

Even though the majority of high-quality height access equipment can do its job regardless of the weather, it’s important to assess the conditions before allowing the workers to go on site. Heavy snow and strong winds can drastically decrease the output while making the work truly dangerous.

Another thing to consider in the winter is low temperatures. Even though OSHA doesn’t provide a framework for the weather conditions, the Occupational Safety And Health Act (1970)states that employers must protect workers from recognized hazards, including cold stress, which can lead to serious harm.

Overall, it’s up to the employer to care about the workers’ safety in the winter. In the majority of cases, striving to work in bad conditions leads to unsatisfactory results while endangering the employees.

WHAT IS IPAF

The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) promotes the safe and effective use of powered access equipment worldwide in the widest sense – through providing technical advice and information; through influencing and interpreting legislation and standards; and through safety initiatives and training programmes. IPAF is a not-for-profit organisation owned by its members, which include manufacturers, rental companies, distributors, contractors and users. IPAF members operate a majority of the MEWP rental fleet worldwide and manufacture about 85% of platforms on the market.
- Read more