Essential Tips for Working Safely in the Rain
The start and ends of the year tend to be the wettest months in the UK. This weather poses additional problems for employees working outdoors. Rain causes slippery surfaces and poor visibility. These issues can be serious if not addressed accordingly. We’ve prepared a list of some of the essential tips for working safely
1. Wear Appropriate Outdoor Clothing
You need to put on appropriate gear to keep you warm and dry whenever you intend to work outside on a rainy day. If you’re only going out to attend to small tasks, you can put on gear made from synthetic fibres or wool to keep you warm. But if you’re planning to work on tasks that require you to stay in the wet weather for a significantly long period, ensure to invest in proper rain gear. You can go for well-ventilated and waterproof overalls, pants, or coats. The gear also extends to your hands. Look for tight-fitting gloves that can keep your hands warm and at the same time give you a secure grip on equipment and tools even when wet. Just remember to always wear proper-size gear to avoid any discomforts while working.
2. Wear Appropriate Footwear
When working outdoors, footwear is an essential factor to consider. You’ll need to consider the conditions you are about to work in and the type of work you plan on doing. If it's wet and cold weather, ensure to wear durable footwear with deep threads to help prevent sliding. You need to make sure that your boots provide traction and extend above the ankle to keep water from getting inside the boots.
3. Use the Right Equipment
When working in the rain, you should refrain from using electrical equipment and tools not specifically rated for outdoor tasks. Double-check to ensure the equipment is appropriate for wet weather. Check if the materials and equipment handles are slip-resistant when wet before you move out to work.
4. Work Cautiously
You may be tempted to try and work quickly so you can get out of the rain as soon as possible. This can be a dangerous move considering that you’re more likely to make mistakes and you may get injured. Instead, do the exact opposite; work more slowly and cautiously to ensure you complete the task safely and effectively.
5. Ensure Adequate Vision
As mentioned above, rain causes poor visibility. This can be a serious hazard, especially if you’re working at heights. If you’re to work at heights, ensure proper fall protection, such as a barrier for flat roof, is installed before you start working on the area. Wear a hat or hood to keep the rain out of your eyes, but ensure to look both ways when wearing a hood because it can narrow your range of vision. You can also use goggles for a wide range of vision. Ensure lighting is also adequate, especially when working at night. Use lights rated for outdoor use. You also need to ensure that you can be seen. Wear reflective or bright-coloured vests and hoods to be easily seen by others.
6. Drive Cautiously
Driving gets more difficult in the rain hence the need to be more cautious. The friction between the tyres and road surfaces is normally reduced and you need to double the stopping distance for safety. Drive at appropriate speeds in bad weather and ensure your vehicle lights and controls are working properly before taking off.