Don’t let the cold snap compromise the health and safety of your team

Don't let freezing temperatures compromise health and safety

Arctic temperatures have been causing problems on construction sites right across the UK during December, compromising the health and safety of workers.

While the icy blast does look likely to ease over the coming days, it’s always worth considering a few simple actions which will help to keep your site safer should the wintry weather return.

John Crockett, Health and Safety Manager at Acorn Safety Services explains more.

Health and safety: Plan ahead for freezing temperatures

The icy weather we have all been experiencing recently may look beautiful, particularly in the run-up to Christmas, but for workers on construction sites up and down the UK it poses a whole new set of problems.

Just this week, I visited a site where the water pipes feeding the welfare cabins had completely frozen meaning the correct facilities were not available to staff.

The freezing temperatures can also mean that any ruts in the ground can very quickly become solid, causing a significant trip or fall hazard.

There are simple ways to overcome these problems, but a little forward planning is always required.

When ordering welfare facilities, always ensure the pipes are suitably insulated and, in the most severe conditions, trace heated. To avoid problems on roads, roads and pedestrian walkways should always be salted.

Keep an eye on the temperature

Working outside in low temperatures can cause serious health problems, particularly among those who are operating machinery.

Loss of concentration is a common problem in those affected by the cold so completing an additional risk assessment to check if additional PPE is required is always a sensible move.

As temperatures drop, the likelihood of slips and falls increases dramatically so particular care should always been taken among those who are working at height or using ladders and platforms. Again, a revised risk assessment is always recommended. In some circumstances the risk assessment may mean that certain work should be postponed until the weather improves. It is important that these rules are followed to the letter to avoid serious injury, or even death.

Regulation 34 of Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) deals specifically with the issue of temperature, and management teams should make sure they are fully aware of the details and fully compliant.

In any doubt? Bring in the experts

At Acorn Safety Services, health and safety is our business and our dedicated, growing team of experts is here for you.

We only employ the best – talented, highly-skilled and fully-accredited professionals who work hard to offer you a full, impartial health and safety service, which is second to none.

Our team of directors are also experts in their field with decades of experience between them. Ian Stone and Neil Munro are also published authors having written the best-selling book Fear and Loathing of Health and Safety, which has a five star rating on Amazon.

We offer a full range of services to help ensure your business remains fully compliant with the latest regulations.

As well as being an overarching health and safety and CDM consultancy we also specialise in fire risk assessments and legionella testing, both of which need to be carried out regularly to ensure you remain fully compliant.

In addition, we offer a full asbestos service – helping to identify if your property has it and supporting with a full management process if it does.

As a fully independent health and safety consultancy, the team at Acorn Safety Services will offer you impartial advice you can always rely on – whatever the weather.

For all your health and safety needs visit today or contact us at or on 01604 930380.

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