In the construction industry, workers have to be prepared to work in various weather conditions and do so safely. Mason Construction, Ltd. is headquartered in Southeast Texas so we have seen our fair share of rain. When employees work in rain, they face more challenges on the job site. Rain can make surfaces slippery and visibility low.
When working in rainy conditions, consider some of these steps from OSHA:
- Move cautiously.Although the weather may make you inclined to work more quickly to get out of the rain, this is dangerous. Because rain causes slick surfaces, work more slowly and deliberately – particularly when climbing ladders.
- Use the correct equipment.Do not use electrical tools and equipment that are not specifically rated for outdoor use when working in the rain. Select hand tools with textured, nonslip grip handles.
- Wear proper footwear with a deep tread to prevent slipping. In the rain, be sure your pant leg lies over your boot or shoe. Tucking your pants into footwear can cause water to enter.
- Wear appropriate rain gear that includes both pants and a coat.Be sure the material is ventilated so it can be worn comfortably for extended periods. If it is cold, select wool or synthetic materials that insulate even when wet. Be certain clothing fits properly so it does not interfere with movement.
- Use proper hand protection that features a strong, slip-proof grip.Make sure gloves are adequately tight and long enough to allow your rain coat sleeve to prevent water from entering.
- Ensure adequate vision.If you wear glasses or goggles, use anti-fog spray or wipes on them before going outside. Wear a hood or hat to keep rain out of your eyes. Because a hood narrows your range of vision, be sure to look both ways when wearing one. When working at night, make sure lighting is adequate and the lights used are rated for outdoor use.Make sure you can be seen.Wear high-visibility clothing, especially in areas with vehicle traffic and heavy machinery. Do not wear rain gear or vests that have become dull or are no longer reflective.
Additionally, workers should follow policy and procedures to reduce rain hazards on the job site. Intersafety adds these two tips for working in wet conditions.
- Seeking shelter from wet weather – damp conditions and rainfall can increase the chance of contracting colds and other ailments which can lead to greater workplace absences.
- Taking extra precautions when working with power tools or electrical items – risks of electrocution are naturally high here, so wearing protective clothing, including rubber-soled shoes which will protect you against any shocks, and keeping water away from electrics is key.
(Picture from the Intersafety blog.)