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Winter can be a dangerous time of year; ice, snow, the cold and frozen lakes can all be killers if you are not careful. Take a look at how to avoid potential accidents relating to ice and frozen lakes.
Year by year many people have to be saved from drowning in ice water, not everyone, however, is as lucky. The highest cause of such accidents is young children and men of all ages falling through frozen canals and lakes.
You may wonder why would someone even think of putting themselves in danger, near icy water? Half of ice/water-related deaths come from someone trying to rescue someone else, such as, an ice skating child or a dog who has fallen into the water. It is important to educate young children about the dangers of icy water and to avoid playing fetch with your pets near such places.
In some industries, you will be required to work outside in the winter, such as construction, emergency services and utilities. Therefore, you may have to work in areas which contain frozen bodies of water. You will need to ensure that you can limit or completely remove the chance of any workers or pedestrians coming into contact with the ice.
Before conducting any form of ice-breaking activity, you need to do a thorough risk assessment of the area. Do not use a prior icebreaking risk assessment for a different job because each environment is unique. Refreezing, depth of the water edge, ease of escape and risk of workers should all be considered. It is wise to consult the local rescue services when assessing the area.
Ice isn’t safe, you should take serious precautions before going anywhere near it. Ice with 2 inches thickness of or less is highly dangerous and is susceptible to cracking. 4 inches or above is said to be safe enough to walk on but if you don’t have to don’t risk it.
If you fall through the ice you need to know how to self save.
Another dangerous aspect of the winter months is the cold weather, especially when you are working outside in it all day. Take a look at our blog “Keeping warm on Construction Sites in the winter” for some helpful tips.
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