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Planning Construction Around Severe Weather
September 14, 2022
The progress of a construction project is influenced by a wide range of factors, including employee speed and adherence to the schedule. Unexpected severe weather can be particularly problematic when keeping a project on track. Luckily, there are steps that a construction manager can take to minimize the impact that inclement weather has on a job site. The following four tips can help prevent safety incidents resulting from a weather event.
Know What to Expect
Preparation is the best defense against the threat of bad weather. Predictions shouldn't just be informed by the weather patterns in a general area, though — construction managers should take their research a step further and become familiar with the weather patterns of the specific construction site. Factors such as plane elevation and property slopes can massively impact how a weather event plays out, so preparing for rain, snow, or lightning is an essential step toward safety. The National Weather Service makes it simple to look up the weather history of a specific location.
Use a Weather Forecaster
A planner with a long-range weather forecaster is another helpful tool that makes it easier to predict an upcoming weather event and adapt a construction schedule to account for it. Long-range planning is also an excellent strategy for effectively utilizing crews, optimizing logistics, and ensuring that the project stays on schedule. Sometimes planning isn't enough, and a surprise weather alert appears. In this case, a construction manager should implement a safety plan and use the forecaster to adjust the schedule accordingly.
Understand Your Materials
Understanding how construction materials will fare in different weather conditions is essential. For example, if a project demands the use of a crane, a construction manager should understand whether this is safe in any given situation. Similarly, the manager should know whether the wood will withstand the weather if a project involves erecting a wood frame. Protecting valuable construction materials is vital when inclement weather is incoming. If work is canceled, it may be necessary to return to the site and store or cover any exposed materials.
Prioritize Safety Above Deadlines
Ensuring the crew's safety is the most crucial responsibility of every construction manager. Unfortunately, some managers can succumb to the pressure of a deadline and be tempted to cut corners to save time. It may mean continuing work even after it has become unsafe in a weather event. Construction managers must always prioritize safety above deadlines. Investing in insurance coverage for the transportation industry or construction industry can also ensure workers' safety. Transportation and construction demand liability coverage such as workers' compensation and property damage. ◼
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