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Spring is here, and with it comes the excitement to finally complete that “to do” list that has been waiting on you all winter. But there is a draw back to the warmer weather that most people don’t think of: the danger of working on construction after a slight rain, or after a slight snow can be deadly if not treated with caution. Without proper care you can easily endanger yourself by doing the simplest projects. Even that swing-set you are working on for your child can become the cause for a trip to the hospital if the surface is slick from a spring rain. So before you go out to repair the gutters, here are a few safety precautions to think about using.

Keep All Ladders Away from Power Lines

This is one thing we are taught all of our lives, but after a rain storm or a slight snow it is especially dangerous to work around power lines. Wet, slippery, and cold conditions can cause anyone to lose their balance or become disoriented. If you become disoriented while standing next to a power line, or slip next to a power line you can easily put your life in jeopardy.

Stay Away from Low and Down Power Lines

Just because a power line is down doesn’t mean that it is safe to go around it. If you see a power line that is down always call your power company rather than approaching it yourself.

Stay Off of Wet Roofs and Ladder

When any surface is wet it becomes an instant dangerous area where falling is considered – this is especially true for high slanted areas. Try to put off all work on high or slanted areas until the surface is completely dry.

Never Work if Your Vision is Impaired

Once you get into a job it is hard to stop working even if your vision becomes impaired by foggy glasses or branches in your way. Always be sure you can see what you are doing, and know what you are about to do before you make any split second decisions. A hidden power line, an unnoted power cable, or a finger that is in the wrong place can easily become a trip to the hospital or worse.

While Working Around High Water

If you will be working near quickly moving water be sure to dress as if you were going to fall into the water. Despite how low water might seem, it is very powerful after a rain and can easily sweep an adult away if you fall in. A life jacket or some other type of flotation device is a must to prevent the chances of drowning. Banks beside creeks, rivers, lakes, and all other bodies of water also become slippery after a rain so it is incredibly easy to slip and fall into the water. Never work near quickly moving water without wearing proper clothing. To protect your cell phone in case you slip into the water; it is a good idea to keep it in a tightly sealed sandwich bag. This decision can aid in keeping your phone safe from water damage if you should slide into the water.

Dress for the Temperature

Don’t under-dress. On a cold spring day, it is easy to decide while inside that you don’t need heavy winter clothing on a cool day, but try to remember that it will be much colder while working in the elements than it is to work in a warm house or office. It is always a better idea to dress too warmly than in too little clothing. Plan to wear more than enough to stay warm; you can always remove the extra coat if you get hot while working.

So before you head out to complete that “to do” list be sure you are protecting yourself from all dangers of the elements. If you would like more information about construction site safety, contact T.F. Harper & Associates LP, located in Austin, TX.

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