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Posted on the 22nd, November 2016, in Best Practices, Industry, Nusafe, PPE, Workwear,

Working Safe in Wet Weather

Working outdoors presents its own unique set of challenges, particularly in relation to inclement weather.  Sun, snow, ice, and rain can all create hazardous conditions for workers if not handled appropriately.  Aside from the obvious unpleasantness of getting drenched on the job, wet weather conditions can produce a number of hazards, such as risks of falling, reduced visibility, and slippery equipment.  Providing employees with PPE designed to operate in such conditions dramatically reduces the likelihood of workplace injury.

Electricity Risk

Wet weather is more of a concern when electricity is present.  That is why it is crucial to exercise caution when working in    areas where electricity is present or while performing tasks which require power tools.   Important things to note are:  Damaged insulation, equipment, or tools can expose you to live wires, increasing risk of electrocution  Being exposed to electricity while standing in any amount of water will create a shock  Risks of being electrocuted are augmented with wet clothes and high humidity  Work should be suspended in the case of a thunderstorm, where the risk of being struck by lightening is present.

Quick Tips for Employers with Wet Work Sites

  • Outdoor materials should be slip resistant where possible.
  • Appropriate signage must be used to mark slippery conditions.
  • Markers such as cones may also be used for this. 
  • Training should be provided to inform workers of the risks of wet conditions. 
  • Canopies can be used to create shelter for workers outdoors. 
  • Weather conditions should be monitored and responded to appropriately.
  • Discourage employees from taking short-cuts over wet grass or mud, which could result in slips.

Driving in Foul Conditions

Employees whose jobs involve driving need to be particularly vigilant in wet weather conditions.   The stopping    distance of a vehicle can more than double in these situations, as the friction between tyres and road is dramatically reduced.  In particularly wet environments, a vehicle can actually hydroplane, causing a loss of control over steering.   Therefore, it is important for driving workers to reduce speeds in rainy weather, and to leave extra space between vehicles.

 

Want to learn more about Water Resistance European Standards, and see a few of our recommended footwear and wet weather workwear products?  Check out our ‘Waterproof Your Workforce’ Best Practice Guide.

Waterproof Your Workforce

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