It is recognised that during some of the work activities undertaken by RAYNET-UK that there will be occasions where working outside will be required and inevitably this will result in personnel being exposed to inclement weather conditions.
Inclement weather can have significant effects on people and to the quality of the work to be carried out. It is important to avoid work in adverse weather conditions wherever possible. It is always a good idea to keep an eye on weather forecasts.
When it is deemed essential for work to be carried out in adverse weather then it is important to assess the risk and to carefully consider the work environment conditions.
Certain work activities pose a significantly higher risk when being undertaken in adverse weather and these should be carefully considered before being planned and carried out. Activities such as working at height in strong winds, working in freezing or snowy weather and in heavy rain.
For example, situations where work activities are taking place near slopes, ground instability may be a factor or on ladders where there is a risk of the equipment being blown over in strong winds should be avoided and re-planned for when the weather is more favourable.
Some of the factors to consider for working in adverse weather conditions include;
Making preparations in advance can help to avoid any unnecessary disruption to activities and save time and money. Wherever possible and practicable to do so in times of persistent poor weather normal work activities my need to be rearranged to include for indoor work only.
Where outdoor work is essential during adverse weather then consideration should be given to the type of work to be undertaken, is it really essential? Is there any means of protection that can be provided such as; canopies, tents etc.? Is waterproof and/or warm clothing available? Are there suitable facilities available for drying wet clothes and for workers to get dry and warm?
Undertaking a full risk assessment and preparing a method statement for the activities is essential to maintaining a safe system of work and to ensure that operatives are not overly exposed to the adverse conditions.
In order to manage the risk in adverse weather conditions it is important to :-
Once all the activities have been considered and it’s decided that work can be carried out safely and appropriate precautions put in place, it is important to make sure that work activities are monitored to ensure that any deterioration in weather conditions are suitably assessed, so that appropriate decisions can be made to continue, postpone or stop the activity.
It should be recognised that in adverse weather conditions people’s ability to perform to the highest standards will be greatly impaired and their concentration levels may not be at their best. Also if there is a need to use tools they may not be able to handle these as efficiently as normal and as such a higher risk of an accident occurring may exist. Therefore management should consider carefully when continuing with work where these situations arise.
Ensure that work activities have been carefully assessed and that only essential works will be carried out. Ensure that adequate resources are made available to provide adequate protection.
Ensure that adequate instruction is given to operatives on Inclement Weather working and that only essential works are carried out. Closely monitor activities and be prepared to stop or postpone work if situation deteriorates.
Always use PPE for the purpose it is designed for. Carry out duties in a safe and responsible manner and fully in accordance with training received unless you deem it unsafe to do so.
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