If you ever have to work outdoors, the weather conditions that you find yourself in can have a tremendous effect on your overall safety, especially when high winds are involved.
The wind is often a neglected and ignored weather condition when working outside, most likely down to the fact that it is invisible and as such is not top of the mind. However, despite us not being physically able to see high winds, they have the ability to cause real damage to anyone that is caught working in them, especially if you're on a ladder!
So, how do you keep yourself safe when working in windy conditions? Ladders UK Direct are here to give you some easy ladder safety tips that help minimise the risks involved with working outdoors in high winds.
The Risks Involved with High Winds
There are a number of risks involved with working on a ladder in high winds. Some will depend on the type of work or environment you find yourself in, however, there are general risks that you should be aware of. These include:
- Objects and tools being blown from the ladder and hitting colleagues or members of the public
- Eye injuries as a result of increased amounts of dust and debris in the air
- Slips and falls as a result of reacting to objects falling from above or being blown around
- The ladder itself being blown as a result of it being poorly secured
Ways to Minimise the Risks Involved with Working in Windy Conditions
Once you have been able to identify the potential risks involved with working on a ladder in windy conditions, you can start to take certain precautions to ensure they are less likely to occur.
Ensure all objects and equipment are secure
One of the main risks involved with working in windy conditions is the wind causing your tools and equipment to start blowing around, which can result in severe injuries to others around you as well as yourself.
To avoid any accidents from happening, ensure that all equipment and tools, including your ladder, has been secured effectively. Be sure to double-check everything as sometimes things may seem secure when in fact they are not.
Don't react to a falling object
During high winds, heavy objects such as machinery can be blown around. In milder conditions, these items may not be much of a concern but other objects such as small tools or hard hards can still cause damage.
Be sure to never try to pick up, catch or adjust to falling objects. In the split second that you do, you may not see another item coming towards you or you may lose your balance and risk falling from the ladder.
Stop working if the wind becomes too strong
If on the day you are meant to be working outdoor on a ladder the wind is too strong, simply do not work. If the wind is relatively mild when you start working but then becomes too strong immediately stop working. By doing so you remove any risk of you falling off the ladder or being hit by falling objects.
If you are planning to work outside, be sure to check the weather report so you have a good idea about the conditions you're going to be working in. If the report shows dangerous and strong winds, then cancel any plans that you had. Strong winds also make it incredibly hard to hear, so if you are working near a busy road, for example, you may not hear oncoming traffic which can lead to further accidents.
Always wear the right PPE
Wearing the correct protective equipment should always be practised but during instances of working in windy conditions, this becomes even more paramount. If you are working at height on a ladder, consider wearing a ladder safety harness that can stop your fall if one were ever to occur.
Eye protection and head protection are also important during windy conditions as these will stop any objects from floating in your eye or damaging your head if falling from above.
By following these simple ladder safety tips, you will ensure the safety of yourself and others is kept high when working in windy conditions! For more important ladder safety information, be sure to read our other blogs below.