By:  Matt McCreery  


Don't let the wind catch you off guard. I'm not just thinking of tornadoes or hurricanes, but of everyday winds and unexpected gusts. Wind just loves to pick up anything it can and sail it away. So when it's windy, securely tie or weight down supplies and materials. It's amazing what a little wind can do. Some gusts can pick up a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood from the top of a high rise building and carry it several blocks. Or blow you off a scaffold.  

It seems the higher you go, the stronger the wind. When working on tall buildings, stay away from roof edges, floor openings, and similar drop-offs where the wind could blow you over. Weight down or otherwise secure material or equipment that can be blown down. 

Don't loiter on the leeward side of un-braced walls, lumber stacks or anything else that can be blown over by a sudden gust of wind. In many instances, workers have been seriously injured when an un-braced wall or form was blown over on them while they were sitting in its shade during lunch or before starting work.  


Every so often we read about workers being struck by lightning. They usually come out second best.  

We all like to keep things moving until we're rained out. But when lightning is around, it's safer to take shelter early. Very often an electrical storm occurs without rain. Or a lightning storm precedes the rain. So if you're working with a crane, on top of steel frame-work, or around other projecting equipment or a building the safest thing to do is to seek shelter when you see lightning.  

Never take shelter under an isolated tree or where you're in contact with a tractor, crane, or other equipment. If you get caught out in the open, stay as low as you can.


When we work in colder climates, ice and snow make things slippery. Clear off and spread sand on any work surfaces, such as scaffolds and passageways, where there is ice and snow.  We need the best possible footing we can get especially for those of us working at heights.


Always be aware of the weather trends and the hazards that can be created by Mother Nature.  It is one of the biggest obstacles workers may face throughout the duration of the job.  Remember to assess your work area for loose material and secure any items found to be potentially dangerous.  Remember if you see lightning you should seek cover.  As the winter surrounds us please use caution when icy conditions exist