Weather and How It Can Affect You

Weather and How It Can Affect You Toolbox Safety Meeting Topic

One thing we have no control over in construction is the weather. The weather can have a huge impact on our safety at work. Being aware of the weather and how it can affect you will help keep you safe. You cannot control the elements, but you CAN control how you deal with them.

We will discuss different types of weather and how they can impact safety:

How Wind Affects Safety

  • It can blow dust in your eyes.
  • It can blow materials and people off of scaffolds and other elevated locations.
  • It can blow down poorly braced formwork or newly framed walls.
  • It can make driving difficult.
  • It can blow away canopies used for heat illness prevention.

To address these problems:

  • Wear appropriate eye protection, such as goggles.
  • Wear fall protection or even stop work if conditions are unsafe.
  • Check weather forecasts for wind and plan ahead.
  • Avoid driving high-profile vehicles on windy days.
  • Secure your shade structures to ensure you have a place to escape the heat.

Lightning

  • Lightning storms can occur without warning, and are very dangerous.
  • Stay away from all tall objects.
  • If working around rebar or metal structures, clear the area immediately.

Rain, Sleet, Ice, and Snow

  • All four are wet, some are cold, and all can cause slips, trips and falls.
  • Snow, sleet and ice can cover floor openings and cause more slips, trips and falls.
  • Mud can result in pulled muscles from straining.
  • All four can ruin construction materials.
  • Water, ice and snow can affect trenches and other excavations. Closely inspect all excavations to determine how the weather is affecting them.
  • Water, when it accumulates on a jobsite, increases the changes for electrocution.

Heat

  • Heat illness can be deadly. Ensure you are acclimated to the heat and stay hydrated.
  • Workers should take frequent rest breaks in a shaded area on hot days.
  • Heat makes work uncomfortable, and can make it hard to concentrate on the work. Work should be stopped if conditions are unsafe.

Additional Discussion Questions:

What other weather conditions can negatively affect safety?

What are some company policies regarding weather conditions?

Who has the authority to shut down a job because of unsafe weather?

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