ExecutiveChronicles | How Can Construction Sites Be Protected from Severe Weather? | There’s more to building a structure than simply erecting a wall and roof. Construction sites can be particularly vulnerable to severe weather, so it is important to review them for vulnerabilities and think through the potential impacts of acts of nature. This could include assessing whether there are any valuable building materials that may be exposed, and what types of storms or weather events are common at the location. Most experienced contractors will build an effective approach to protect a construction site from weather, way before any work begins. Here are some additional considerations for protecting your site from most types of severe weather:
Know Your Site’s Vulnerabilities
Consider what materials may be exposed and vulnerable to damage from adverse climate. For example, wood, cement, and other building materials that may be more susceptible to water damage should be covered or stored away, so they are not left exposed during a heavy downpour. Additionally, pay close attention to geography—sites located near rivers or streams may be particularly prone to localized flooding.
Understand the Weather Patterns
It’s important to understand what type of weather events commonly occur in your area and the likely severity. Let’s say you are building in an area prone to gusty winds and thunderstorms—you may need to make sure scaffolding is secure or consider suspending work during these times. If the site’s geography is more susceptible to flooding, you may need to take extra precautionary measures, such as elevating electrical and other components or keeping construction materials away from areas near the water.
In addition to protecting the work site, it’s important to consider how unexpected storms may affect your workforce. Make sure that personnel are aware of the risks and know what actions to take in case of adverse weather. Develop a safety plan and share it with workers before construction begins, so they understand what to do when nature strikes. Depending on the construction work you are doing, you may need to consider suspending work before and after a storm. Make sure all personnel can evacuate safely, and that they can access emergency supplies should they be needed.
Before a storm hits, plan for the potential workforce implications before, during, and after the event. Think about the potential drawbacks of a severe weather event on-site accessibility. Will emergency response teams have access? Can supplies safely reach the construction site? Will power be affected? If there already has been a history of severe weather, identifying any potential areas of vulnerability can help you better prepare for a future storm. Besides preparing for adverse climate conditions, other basic safety measures such as providing protective equipment, training workers, and instituting effective site policies can further help protect your construction site.
Acts of nature can quickly disrupt construction job sites, putting personnel and materials at risk. By following the steps outlined above, contractors can be better prepared to face extreme weather conditions and reduce the potential for accidents and injuries on the job site. Adopting safety protocols before work begins will also help you stay on schedule and ensure efficiency.