Just like other New Englanders, contractors welcome spring’s relief from cold, wet and snowy conditions. But, there are a number of risks that need to be on your mind as the season changes to keep your workers safe and your insurance costs low. Before heading out into pleasant spring weather to do a job, check out our safety tips and spring risks:
- Snow melt dangers.
Snow can be a real impediment when working in New England. But, its dangers don’t go away right when it melts. Melting snow can leave boggy areas that cause trip and fall accidents. You may find holes and pits in the ground where there weren’t any before. And, hills that are slippery with mud and that lack traction from vegetation can be more challenging to get up and down.
- Mud and rainfall.
Ordinary spring rains can cause slippery puddles and mud. These can be especially dangerous when you are working far above the ground. Make sure that you and your workers wear slip-resistant footwear whenever you are on the job site.
- Stinging insects.
Just as you are happy to get out and enjoy the warmth, spiders and insects are ready to get out and enjoy the warmer temperatures. Shine a light into dark crevices before inserting your hand to make sure that there are no bugs hiding inside. Look out for wasp nests on eaves and take precautions when you find them. Wearing protective gloves and long sleeves can help keep pests at bay. When working on long grass, wear long pants to keep deer ticks from climbing onto you.
Workers tend to be outdoors for longer periods of time when the weather warms up. Keep sunscreen products with SPF of 15 or higher available at all times to avoid costly absences caused by severe sunburns. You can also protect yourself from the sun with wide-brimmed hats and with SPH protectant long sleeve clothing.
- Excessive heat.
It can feel like a surprising thing to worry about after a New England winter, but soaring seasonal temperatures can surprise you. Be sure to provide water and breaks to rehydrate when the temperatures get warmer than expected. Heat exhaustion and dehydration can sneak up on you, and frequent breaks to cool down and get water can help prevent both.
With a bit of attention and some prudent planning, most spring risks can be avoided. Watch out for yourself and your crew, and enjoy gorgeous spring weather and a prosperous season.