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High winds are a hazard for construction teams: Be cautious

When you’re working outside with your construction team, one of the more complicated weather conditions to work with is wind. Wind has the potential to throw you off balance, knock down boards and disrupt your work.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states that high winds are any that exceed 64.4 kilometers per hours, or 40 mph. If the work involves handling materials, then that is dropped down to 30 mph. At these wind speeds, the OSHA believes that all nonessential work should stop. Why? Elevated employees could be blown away, or equipment could be dropped. People could lose control of what they’re doing, and it’s just not safe.

To help avoid unnecessary injuries, preparing for wind-related issues is key. Some of the steps to take in your own workplace include:

  • Securing temporary structures and scaffolding against wind
  • Avoiding working at heights when the wind is high or gusting
  • Make sure that all workers wear hard hats that cannot be blown off
  • Stop crane operations if wind speeds are too high
  • Wear a harness that is connected to an anchor point at all times if you’ll be working in heavier winds
  • Pack away tools and use tethers, so they cannot drop and hurt someone due to the wind
  • Wear eye protection to protect against dust and debris

These are just a few of the ways you can be safer when there are higher winds present. If you do fall or are hurt due to high winds, remember that you can pursue a workers’ compensation claim to help cover your medical care and financial losses.