Night work is often necessary to complete a given task on a construction site. Night work can provide specific challenges that are not experienced during the day, particularly visibility. The following tips will help during those times.
- Visibility is one of the many challenges during a nighttime workplace, especially for the workers and the motorists. Safe visibility levels will make a difference in preventing job site accidents.
- Lighting should be adequate for night work and must illuminate the immediate work area.
- Workers must wear, at minimum, class II garments which are in good condition.
- Practice good housekeeping due to poor natural light.
- Around traffic, class II or II combination with retro-reflective trousers is required.
- Locate clear signage for motorists in the best visibility location.
Unique challenges associated with night work
- Night workers, who lack seniority for day work assignments, may be less experienced and less aware of all safe work practices.
- The type of work assignment may be different. Some companies schedule inherently heavy or more hazardous work at night when fewer people and motorists are around.
- It is more difficult to see in the dark. Artificial light cannot illuminate every surface, which can result in more trips and falls. This also makes night driving more dangerous.
- Falls of zero height are still dangerous.
- Night workers may experience increased fatigue symptoms due to sleep cycle disturbances caused by fluctuating night to daytime sleep patterns.
- Pre-read the Toolbox Talk. Your comfort level and confidence will be higher if you know your topic.
- Discuss related tasks, work areas or events that make the Toolbox Talk relevant to your job site.
- Involve the workers by asking questions and input that drives discussion.
Questions for Discussion
- How do you handle increased fatigue while working at night?
- How are the workers’ visibility garments different in the night from day?