Construction projects are plagued with the reality that they are outside. It is inevitable that weather will affect the project one way or another. In Florida, during the summer, it rains all of the time.
To prepare of instances that are out of our control, we try to mediate dates accordingly. Most construction personnel check the weather forecast regularly, so they are ready for whatever comes at them. During June through October, Florida is inundated with the possibility of a tropical storm or hurricane. Because of this, preparing both the staff and the site for adverse weather is necessary for the successful completion of a project.
Part of the project manager and site supervisor’s job is to keep an eye on any storm that might come through the construction site. They should monitor the progress and prepare the job site accordingly. During a lightning storm, workers should avoid heights like scaffolding and cranes because of the possibility of a lightning strike. Also, materials need to be protected by being weighed down and covered, so they are not blown away or damaged by the rain. Having a container or connex onsite to store materials will alleviate some headaches when it comes to ensuring all of the materials are in safe keeping.
During a natural disaster, like a hurricane, the site superintendent should have a list of emergency numbers. We suggest creating a phone number tree, so the supervisor is not tasked to call all of the numbers. Also, an evacuation route, in the event the job site evacuation is required by governing authorities.
Before coming back to work on a job site that was hit by a hurricane, the site supervisor should pay a visit to address any safety issues that will raise concern when the workers come back to the site. All loose materials should be bundled and secured and water intrusion is to be addressed. Fallen power lines and water can lead to a disastrous outcome.
Finally, completed work should be inspected to ensure they are still in place. If not, they need to be reinforced so the construction project remains sturdy.
When you know a hurricane is going to hit the area, ensure you have enough fuel for generators and dewatering pumps. This is extremely important in removing water from your site.
If you are unsure as to what to do during a natural disaster or any rain storm for that matter, check out your SWPPP plan for the site.