In our efforts to outline safe work practices in winter weather, we have saved one of the most important aspects of winter safety for last. Cold conditions make driving dangerous for construction workers when they are both behind the wheel and in the path of traffic. In parts one and two of this series, we discussed the general dangers and precautions that should be considered with winter weather.
Now, a Texas OSHA defense attorney will discuss how employers can ensure that their construction workers are being kept safe in and around vehicles during precarious winter conditions. Remember, although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has no formal rules regarding winter weather, you could still be cited for failing to provide your workers with safe working conditions.
When Driving in Icy Conditions…
It’s not enough for your construction workers to simply have their driver’s licenses. All of your workers that are operating trucks and other vehicles should be aware of the hazards that come with driving in winter conditions. If they aren’t trained to drive on snow and ice covered roads, they don’t belong behind the wheel. Even an experienced driver can veer off course when their tires lose traction on a snow covered road. For this reason, any vehicle operating in winter conditions should be properly inspected. Extra care should be taken when inspecting the defrosters, lights, wipers, brakes, and tires.
Traffic Safety in Winter Weather
Struck-by hazards are a part of OSHA’s “Fatal Four.” These are the most prevalent and dangerous hazards on a construction site. We must do everything we can to curb the loss of life that results from them. The risk of death is only magnified when construction workers have to work near roadways, especially in Texas where residents aren’t accustomed to icy roads. It’s all too easy for a driver in these conditions to lose control of their vehicle or simply not see a worker in their path. Because falling snow can compromise visibility, your construction crew should be wearing high visibility vests at all times. The work zone should also be properly marked off with signs, cones, barrels, and barriers.
Partner with an Attorney
Failure to abide by the steps laid out in this series could result in severe injury or death on a construction site. You can’t control the weather, but you can control how you approach protecting your employees. If for any reason you are concerned with an OSHA investigation, please consult with our Texas OSHA attorneys to ensure that your rights are protected and fought for.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.