Do you work outdoors, such as in the construction industry? Do you dread when bad weather moves into the area?
Even though working outdoors can be great fun when the weather conditions are perfect, you know that things can quickly take a turn for the worse.
Safety risks are everywhere when working in strong winds. If you don’t account for this, there’s a greater chance you could be part of an accident.
Here are some of the many hazards often created by strong winds:
- Commercial vehicle tip-overs
- Sprains and strains due to forceful wind pulling an object out of your hands
- Slip-and-fall accidents resulting from a strong wind gust
- Injuries from flying debris (such as those to the eyes)
- Dropped loads when attempting to lift a heavy item
- Objects falling from above
Even if you have experience working in strong winds, there’s still a chance you could be part of some type of accident. If you want to reduce your risk, here are some best practices:
- Always wear a hardhat in windy conditions
- Eliminate any tasks that are more dangerous when the wind picks up
- Reduce or eliminate the number of lifting operations
- Don’t leave any items unsecured at height, such as tools on a roof
- Move indoors if the wind is making it impossible to work safely
- Drive slowly, especially if you’re in a high profile vehicle like a dump truck or commercial truck
- Wear the appropriate safety gear, such as goggles to cover your eyes
If you do these things, you’re reducing the likelihood of being injured in an on-the-job accident. There is no way to completely eliminate the risk of injury, so the best thing you can do is take as many actions as possible to protect yourself.
If you suffer an injury when working in strong winds, move to safety and call for medical help.
Your medical team can provide treatment, share details on your injuries and help you better understand your long term prognosis.
If you’re unable to return to work, focus on your legal rights as an employee. You may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim. If approved, this allows you to receive some income until you’re able to return to your job.