Making the switch from the winter weather to spring can still bring many hazards to the construction site, especially when wet weather is going to be common. As the seasons change, so should the set-up of your site because of how wet and dark it will be at times. This isn't enough to stop the project altogether, but measures can be put in place to keep everyone safe. Here's how to protect your site for wet weather.
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Plan Working Schedules Carefully and Offer a Drying Room
The weather can drastically change at any time, or there can be heavy rain throughout the day yet your workers might still be operating in those conditions. However, one of the better ways to remain prepared is by reorganising their working hours. This means that you should avoid having the same employees staying in the rain while others are inside and dry at all times.
This is to avoid potentially serious cold-related illnesses. Adverse weather where it's both cold and wet can increase the likelihood of hypothermia, for example. Or, on a less serious note, it can just harm productivity in a big way. To avoid these and any other cold-related illness, it could be more beneficial to rotate teams across sites so nobody is left out in the wet weather while the others remain warmer and dry all day, every day.
At the very least, whilst there is outdoor work taking place, provide a drying room so workers can rotate their clothing at brew and lunch and carry on working comfortable and efficiently.
Use Slip-Resistant Matting
By using these mats on key walkways and inside cabin or building entrances, you'll already be mitigating the risks the wet weather brings which allows your workers to continue operating normally.
So if the floor or the site is wet, the mats won't slip and neither will anyone who walks on them which reduces slip, trip and fall accidents. Depending on the brand you choose, the open construction of some mats lets liquids and small particles pass through which means you get a safer and drier surface even if it continues to rain.
Make Use of Covers
If you and your team need to continue operating in wet weather despite the many hazards it brings, then utilising covers around your site is a beneficial way to prepare. Not only do these covers allow electrical equipment and power tools to remain safe by being shielded from the rain, but it also means your workers won't be getting wet throughout the day and can remain productive inside of the covers.
These temporary and portable construction covers provide your workers with a comfortable, heated surface and eliminates the threat of inclement weather. Plus, one of the biggest issues with construction sites is the worry that excavation sites can be flooded. So, it's clear that covers are a good tool to use to prevent the hole from filling with water so this should be prepared well beforehand.
Consider Ground Management Options, From Pumps to Lime Treatments
When completing substructure work outside the summer months, make sure you have ready access to a suitable amount of drainage pumps. It could be more efficient to purchase extra pumps and have a labourer manning them rather than waiting for the downpours and trying to source pumps on-hire at the same time as every other site in your area.
Depending on how thorough your ground surveys were before the project began, you might have to reconsider more extreme water control measures. Look into lime treatment services which chemically dry to soil and help to effectively lower the water table.
If Struggling to Get Watertight, Consider Dehumidifiers
Implementing the use of dehumidifiers on your site is another important way of mitigating the risks that the wet weather brings. In wet weather, excess moisture can open the floodgates for many serious problems at your site and drying is usually the most effective method to combat this. Dehumidification is mainly applied to dry out the excess water content and if this is the case at your site, it's important that you apply dehumidification as soon as possible until you get the building officially watertight.
By applying a dehumidifier in time, you're able to dry the excess water much quicker and allow your workers to continue working much sooner rather than waiting for the equipment and surfaces to dry naturally.
Provide Equipment Storage
A simple way to prepare is by having all of your workers store equipment away safely.
Along with this, ensure all power tools that need to be used are properly maintained and electrical leads are designed for outdoor use. You should organise for someone to check all electrical equipment and their labels to determine which ones are suitable for use in wet weather and which should remain indoors.
Provide Suitable Equipment for Workers
Finally, it's vital that you prepare your employees' workwear essentials when you take into consideration the wet weather and low visibility. This is why you should organise the purchase of or emphasise the importance of wearing the right equipment.
Again, as rain can pour down at any given time, a good way to prepare is to keep safe equipment and clothing on-site should your workers ever need it. This includes waterproof layers, safe gloves and even slip-resistant safety boots for when your workers are walking around the wet site. In addition to this, you should be prepared by having enough high-visibility coats on-site because of how dark it is expected to be.
By making these preparations to mitigate the risks your workers face, you will be in a much better position when you're facing the dark and wet weather.
What are the Risks to your Workers?
Although this is a risk throughout the year, slips, trips and falls are common during wet conditions and this is prevalent when working in elevated positions such as when using scaffolding, ladders and on muddy or wet surfaces.
The domino effect continues as high winds can also lead to unsecured materials being dislodged, while wet and windy weather can even make driving on-site and operating machinery more dangerous due to reduced visibility. To combat these risks and be better prepared, consider these making these preparations for your site.
Want to Find Out all About Spring Workwear Essentials?
Download a FREE copy of our spring-dedicated Workwear Buying Guide, which is also available for the summer, autumn and winter seasons too. The spring guide outlines the average UK temperatures for each season, the inherent dangers you need to protect against and how to clothe yourself and your workers to best defend against outdoor dangers.