How To Keep Your Construction Site Safe In Bad Weather
When it comes to construction projects, there are lots of different things that can cause problems, from lack of personnel to tight budgets, but one that you might not have considered is the weather.
However, the fact is that bad weather can really slow down any construction project, and whether it’s heavy rain, snow, strong winds, or even extremely hot temperatures, it can cause a lot of issues - including making the site unsafe for people to work on. With that in mind, here are some of the things you can do to keep your construction site safe in bad weather. Read on to find out more.
Monitor The Weather Forecasts
The first thing you’ll need to do is make sure you’re constantly checking the weather forecasts for your area. Although this won’t actually make the site safer exactly, it will give you a heads up about what to expect, meaning you can put various contingencies in place to help you keep people - and the site in general - safe.
You’ll be able to plan in advance to work around the weather if you need to, and put as many plans in place as you need to ensure that it doesn’t affect the safety of your workers. There might be a big storm on the way, for example, so you’ll know you need to secure everything extremely well and keep people off-site for a day or two. Or perhaps lots of snow is forecast, so you’ll need to determine whether it’s safe for people to work or not.
Have A Weather Contingency Plan
Once you know what the weather is going to be doing (or roughly, as it’s never guaranteed that a weather forecast will be one hundred percent accurate), you can work out a plan, as we mentioned above. This needs to be well thought out and in-depth, otherwise you run the risk of it doing more harm than good.
Some of the things that need to be included in your weather contingency plan are evacuation procedures, temporary shelter options for your team, ways to protect your equipment, how people can communicate with each other (as well as who they need to talk to and what they need to say), and ensuring that the weather is monitored in real-time to get things moving again as soon as possible.
Train Your Team
Safety isn’t something one person can do alone, especially if you’re not actually on the construction site and you manage things from an office, for example. That’s why it’s so important to train your team about what they need to do when the weather gets bad so there’s no delay in putting actions in place, and no one needs to be unsafe for any reason.
If you’re not sure how to train people about safety measures on your construction site, you can always hire a third party to do it for you - they’ll be experts in safety, and they’ll be able to give your team all the information they need to stay safe. Of course, it’s a good idea to speak to the people you hire for training so they can tailor their lessons to your specific industry and what you need your workers to do, so pick people who are willing to work with you rather than just give a broader safety lesson that won’t help in a real emergency.
Use Rig Mats
One excellent way to keep things safe when the weather’s bad and the ground is particularly wet and muddy is to use rig mats. These are big, heavy mats that are placed on the ground to provide a stable surface for heavy machinery, various pieces of equipment, and, of course, people to move across and not sink into the ground.
When rig mats are in place, muddy or soft ground isn’t an issue anymore, and the likelihood of any accidents is reduced hugely - on soft ground, equipment can tip over, and people can lose their balance, but with rig mats, that issue is dealt with quickly and easily.
Keep Your Equipment Well-Maintained
Another useful bit of advice for keeping a construction site safe in bad weather is to keep your equipment well-maintained at all times. In bad weather, machinery can get broken or ruined, but if it’s kept well-maintained, that risk is much smaller - even if things get very wet or iced up or even blown over, if it’s in generally good condition, the result won’t be so bad.
Poorly maintained equipment is more likely to break down anyway, and the added stress of bad weather on top (perhaps literally) will mean something is almost certain to go wrong.