As spring approaches, many businesses — particularly builders — eagerly anticipate the full-blown resumption of projects and operations shut down by winter conditions.
But builders who cannot wait for the final snow melt and ground thaw in their rush to get a head start on projects delayed by winter weather may find themselves literally bogged down. Their workers find muddy, slick and greasy ground — in general, a wet mess. Ditches can collapse. Dampness leads to slips and falls or unstable equipment. Often construction must be redone, raising both labor costs and the risk of injury to workers.
Use of proper equipment for soggy conditions, such as slush boots, is highly recommended. But safety and sound risk management suggest the best approach is to wait until the final snow has melted, the ground has thawed, and better weather has helped dry the ground to the point it is safe and practical to work again. At that point, some builders then attempt to make up some or all of the delay through weekend work and late hours. The key is not to let impatience and pressure to finish a project on time lead to shortcuts in safety procedures.
At this time of year many of us start thinking about spring cleaning. Perhaps this is also the perfect time to talk with your insurance advisors about spring safety, at home and in the workplace.
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