Prepare Your Construction Site for Severe Weather
Safety should be the number one priority, whether the job site experiences snow, frost, rain, or heat. This article will review how to prepare your construction site for severe weather to help you stay ready for any situation.
Questions To Consider
Unless the job site is a meteorological wonder, not every severe weather occurrence will happen at once. Consider these questions to begin forming a better plan of action:
- What are the common weather occurrences in the area?
- Will work occur during peak storm, heat, or snowy seasons?
- Is the area prone to flooding?
- How will these conditions affect equipment, power, supplies, or emergency response teams?
- Are there any materials or supplies that are weather sensitive? What about equipment?
After answering these questions, you’ll have a better idea of the actions you need to take to better prepare your construction site for severe weather and protect workers.
Heavy Rain, Lightning, or Hurricanes
Fortunately, we can predict heavy rain, lightning, and hurricanes. So, if you keep an eye on the weather, you should have plenty of time to prepare. The first two things you’ll need are a relocation plan and a hurricane preparedness checklist.
The checklist will help you remember to take inventory of all current equipment and supplies, how to protect these items, and help you assess any damage afterward. A relocation plan should account for where equipment and employees need to relocate and how long these actions will take. Depending on how strong the hurricane or storm is, tie-downs or anchors may be necessary, but this will mostly depend on potential flooding and wind force conditions.
If you know you’ll be working in an area prone to sporadic rain or storms, temporary enclosures can help make a job site safer, especially in an area without many shelters.
Harsh Heat or Drought
The two biggest worries in harsh or dry heat are fire hazards and dehydration. While your construction site should comply with local water conservation ordinances, employees working in heat should drink a cup of water every twenty to thirty minutes. Calculate how much water your team will need for the day and ensure there is enough to keep everyone consistently hydrated.
Additionally, prohibit smoking in any form near the site and have the right class of fire extinguishers on hand. At the end of the day, conduct an equipment fire watch to make sure the area is free of combustible materials and ensure employees properly inspect and store hot equipment.
Ice, Snow, or Blizzards
Many of the steps you take to secure a site during snowy conditions are the same steps you’d take during a hurricane, with a few differences. Your first step is to prepare and insulate any waterlines and store equipment in temperature-controlled areas. Heating systems should also be consistently monitored and kept up to date to ensure they’re in working order.
Additionally, if you’re working in a building, the roof load and the amount of expected snowfall should be monitored to avoid collapse. Finally, make sure all roadways and walkways are clear of snow and ice to protect workers and equipment from unnecessary accidents.
Overall, preparing your construction site for severe weather is an absolute must and is something that should be taken seriously in order to keep safety in check.
About Dan Coconate
Dan Coconate is a local Chicagoland freelance writer who has been in the industry since graduating from college in 2019. He currently lives in the Chicagoland area where he is pursuing his multiple interests in journalism.
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