Today's Safety Sunday tip is: Use Your Brain, Work Cautiously in the Rain!
There comes a time and place where your job may require you to work in the rain.
Working in the rain can cause specific hazards such as poor visibility and wet, slippery surfaces. Wet and windy conditions can intensify these potential hazards at a worksite. It's also riskier to use heavy equipment like cranes and JLG lifts in the rain. Moving these heavy loads can put workers on the ground – and even innocent bystanders – in danger.
However, some steps can be taken to mitigate these hazards. Here are a few tips to consider when working in the rain:
- Move cautiously – While you or your team may be tempted to move fast in the rain to avoid getting wet, this can be dangerous, especially on slippery surfaces, like vessels. If anything, you should work slower and more deliberately in all of your tasks.
- Use the correct equipment – If employees must use electrical tools or equipment, they need to check that they are specifically rated for outdoor use (double insulated). Also, the devices should have textured, no-slip grips and handles.
- Wear proper footwear – Employees should wear footwear with heavy treads, which reduces the chances of slipping.
- Remember rain gear – Proper rain gear includes rain pants and a raincoat. The best clothing is ventilated to help workers stay comfortable. If it's cold and rainy, they should also wear wool or synthetic materials that maintain heat even when wet.
- Wear non-slip gloves – Personnel should wear gloves that provide a sticky grip even when wet. Gloves should be snug and should reach the jacket sleeve to prevent water from entering.
- Keep vision clear – Employees who wear glasses (if those who must wear goggles for certain jobs) should apply an anti-fog spray to them. It's also advisable to wear a hat to keep rain from their eyes. They shouldn't use headgear that narrows their field of vision.
- Work in proper lighting – When working at night, personnel should make sure lighting is adequate and the lights used are rated for outdoor use.
- Ensure visibility – When it's raining, visibility decreases, and it's easy for motorists and machine operators to have trouble seeing properly. Employees should wear high-visibility clothing, especially in areas with vehicle traffic and heavy machinery. Don't wear rain gear or vests that have become dull or are no longer reflective.
I realize it isn't easy to stay dry when working out in the rain, but it can be accomplished in a safe and hazard-free way.