Prevent Work-related Accidents And Injuries From High Winds

It's well-known that extreme heat or extreme cold can pose safety issues for those who work outdoors. But high winds, regardless of temperature, can also pose safety hazards that must be addressed. Here are some things to be mindful of, and safeguard against when the winds blow:
 
Flying Dust, Debris - There’s no shortage of soil, dust and other small particles on a construction site that can become airborne with the right amount of wind. And because the eyes are particularly vulnerable, the first line of defense is wearing safety glasses/goggles to protect the eyes from flying dust and debris. Additionally, precautions should be taken to avoid performing tasks or standing downwind from blowing dust.
 
Displaced Work Materials - Items such as tools and machinery on construction sites can be easily displaced by forceful winds. Carefully observe the surroundings and look for potential items that can become airborne on the site should high winds pose an issue. If possible, move the objects to a safe place or ensure that work is performed in an area that is not in the line of fire.  
 
Struck-By Incidents from Falling Objects - When working under or near scaffolding or in close proximity to lifted loads, high winds can dislodge loads and materials on elevated surfaces causing injury to those working in the area below. Ensure that work materials used on elevated surfaces are properly secured and avoid working under scaffolding during high wind events. Postpone lifting operations when high winds can affect the safety of workers on, under and around the machinery. Use an anemometer to register wind speeds and determine when conditions are critical enough to cease operations.
 
If possible, plan for activities that can be done during high wind events that will not affect worker safety. But if operations must be performed during heavy winds, be sure to have safeguard in place to protect workers.