Roofers are especially at risk, with strong winds when working at height proving tricky, while icy conditions can mean the risk of slips and falls also rises.

As part of its annual Winter Safety campaign, Marley has pulled together some guidance to help roofers and outside construction workers stay safe this year, giving away hundreds of Marley-branded snoods to help keep workers warm in winter.

Marley has outlined the following tips:

  • Wear gloves wherever possible to minimise the impact of the cold on workers’ hands and fingers. For those not undertaking tasks that require hand dexterity, keeping your hands well-wrapped up can minimise discomfort.
  • For those working with pneumatic or vibrating machinery; cold workers are more likely to suffer from injuries such as hand-arm vibration syndrome. It is important to try and keep your hands and arms warm to minimise risk.
  • While it might be tempting to forfeit a high-vis jacket for a bulkier winter coat, layering up is better for both breadth of movement as well as being able to keep the appropriate PPE on. Snoods, like the ones Marley is giving away, keep the neck, face and ears warm but can fit easily underneath hard hats to avoid any compromise in safety.
  • Undertake a risk assessment. Additional hazards can become safety issues at relatively mild temperatures and rain, ice or high winds can exacerbate already high-risk situations. Undertaking a full risk assessment can ensure the whole team understands the hazards and how to mitigate them.
  • Have the appropriate footwear both for the job, and the weather conditions. Footwear is crucial when working in potentially slippery conditions and water-resistant shoes or ice grips can help reduce risk of slipping on icy or wet surfaces.

Daniel Redfern, Marketing Manager at Marley, commented: “We should not underestimate the risks involved in working outdoors during the cold winter months and the potential impact that it can have on the health and wellbeing of workers.

“Roofers are more prone to colds, chest infections, injuries and fatigue as they work outdoors through challenging conditions. Each year our Winter Safety campaign aims to raise awareness of the risks and provide guidance on how to keep those working outdoors safe this winter.

“While it is important that workers are mindful of their environment and understand the importance of wearing their PPE correctly, employers also need to ensure appropriate risk assessments have been carried out and that they take every precaution to keep their teams safe this winter.”

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