It is important for marina builders who have been tasked with constructing a marina during the cold winter months to take certain precautions, to prevent the wintry weather conditions from causing accidents and injuries. Here are two such precautions.
Take steps to prevent hypothermia
Working in freezing cold temperatures can be dangerous even on dry land. However, it can be particularly hazardous in circumstances where people need to work close to the sea, as wearing clothes that have been splashed with cold water will increase the speed with which a person's body temperature drops.
As such, construction workers who have to work outside wearing wet clothes on a freezing cold day could easily develop hypothermia.
Unfortunately, it is virtually impossible for people who are involved in the construction of a marina to avoid getting water on their clothing. Because of this, it is crucial for site managers to provide their team of construction workers with waterproof garments.
Each individual must be given a pair of waterproof trousers and a waterproof top. These items should be close-fitting, in order to prevent any water that lands on them from seeping in through the sleeves or waistband and getting into contact with the wearer's skin.
Constructions workers should also have warm, waterproof coats and a pair of waterproof boots (this type of footwear will not only prevent hypothermia but also trench foot, a serious condition caused by a person's feet remaining wet for long periods of time).
Additionally, workers should be made aware of the symptoms of hypothermia, so that if they do develop it, they can notify the site manager and get the treatment they need before the condition worsens.
Symptoms of this illness include shivering, stiffening of the muscles, a cold torso, extreme lethargy and a slow pulse.
Take precautions when using heavy construction equipment
During periods of freezing cold weather, the windscreens on heavy construction equipment can quickly become covered in ice. This type of visual obstruction could be particularly dangerous when using a piece of equipment close to the sea during a marina construction project, as the operator may find themselves unable to determine where the edge of the water lies and might, therefore, accidentally drive the machinery into the sea.
This could lead to two serious situations. Firstly, the undercarriage of the equipment may end up saturated with seawater. The salt and the moisture could damage and corrode many of its internal components and cause it to malfunction.
Secondly, if the body of water in question is quite deep, the equipment could sink and the operator could be at risk of drowning.
As such, it is absolutely vital for operators to use a scraping device to fully remove ice from their equipment's windscreens before they use them. Additionally, they should add some anti-freeze fluid to the windscreen wipers' water reservoir so that they can continue to use the wipers to remove seawater and slush from the windscreens, even when the temperatures drop below freezing.