As summer fades into colder and wetter conditions, many people will be looking forward to staying indoors this fall. For our field crews however, this is simply not an option. What’s more, with wet weather comes a new set of risks. However, by following these simple steps, the risk to our crews can be significantly reduced…
In the rain
One of the biggest dangers in wet weather is posed by slips, trips, and falls. One of the simplest measures to prevent this kind of accident is to choose appropriate clothing.
•During bad weather, avoid boots or shoes with smooth soles and heels, such as plastic and leather soles. Instead, wear shoes or boots that provide traction; boots made of non-slip rubber or neoprene with grooved soles are best.
•Keep warm, but make sure you can hear what’s going on around you. A reflective coat allows others to see you clearly even in areas where light is limited.
Another consideration is to adapt the working environment to make it safer during wet weather.
•Discourage people from taking shortcuts over grass or dirt which are likely to become slippery when wet.
Those driving in the rain should also be aware of the increased dangers posed by poor conditions. Stopping distances can double in the wet as the friction in between the car’s tires and the road surface is reduced. In extreme conditions this can result in hydroplaning where the steering becomes unresponsive. If this happens ease off the accelerator and slow down gradually.
In the dark
With the clocks going back in November, the mornings and evening will be noticeably darker. The decreased visibility poses a particular risk while commuting to work or the jobsite.
•In darkness it is harder to judge speed and distance, objects can be closer than they appear or travelling faster than first expected. To prepare yourself for any eventuality you should drive at a speed that allows you to spot hazards and react accordingly.
Work safe this fall. Matt Timberlake