Severe Weather Construction Safety Tips
Category: Equipment and Solutions
Getting Ready for Whatever Nature Sends Your Way
Extreme weather such as, heat waves, flash floods, lightning, thunderstorms and snowy, cold and windy conditions are a serious concern for any business — especially those with employees working outside. If you operate a construction site or any other industry that leaves your team vulnerable to the outdoor elements, it’s critical to take precautions to stay safe no matter what Mother Nature throws at you. To avoid workplace accidents, avoidable injuries, lawsuits, property damage and potential loss of life, consider the following severe weather tips for being prepared:
Identifying Your Risks
A comprehensive safety plan begins with understanding the risks in your construction work environment. Common issues include:
- Lightning strikes, which are more common in open areas.
- High winds downing trees or power lines, toppling machinery or generating flying debris.
- Heavy rains impacting trenches or causing flooding.
- Temperature extremes resulting in heat-related illnesses or cold stress.
Make sure your crew knows how to spot signs of an impending storm, such as increased wind speeds. Your plan should include clear weather-related signals for when to stop work and when it’s safe to resume.
Challenging and dangerous weather conditions tend to send disorganization, confusion, panic and fear throughout an organization. At the top of the list of essential severe weather safety tips for keeping your staff calm and in control during a storm or natural catastrophe is developing a response plan in case of emergency.
Make sure everyone understands what their roles and responsibilities are in various situations and provide continuing education and training on safety best practices. From knowing where to find the first aid kit to the location of the nearest shelter or safe place, a well-drilled team is best equipped to deal with adverse conditions.
You should also teach them the symptoms of cold stress and heat-related illnesses. They’ll be able to take appropriate action quickly when they recognize the signs in themselves or others.
Weather protection on construction sites is best accomplished through prevention. Some proactive steps you can take to improve safety include:
- Consider weather alert apps or other methods to keep your team informed.
- Ensure any equipment you’re using meets safety requirements for your operating conditions.
- Tie down or otherwise secure loose construction materials.
- Outfit your crew with the correct safety equipment for the job, such as rain gear.
- Shore up trenches and other excavated areas.
- Schedule the most demanding work for the warmest parts of the day in winter and the coolest in summer.
- Remove hazards like flood waters as soon as possible.
There are some natural disruptions you can’t plan for, such as a tornado. However, most of the time, you’ll receive ample notification that inclement weather is on the way.
An efficient way to keep your work crews informed is to appoint shift safety chiefs responsible for keeping tabs on what’s happening in the atmosphere by reading daily reports and monitoring impending storms and systems. Sign up for National Weather Service updates and alerts delivered directly to your mobile devices, always have an all-weather radio receiver on site and map out local flood zones, emergency escape routes and how to get to the nearest medical facility.
The best way to help keep your construction crew safe is by giving them a place to escape the sun, rain, snow and wind. Many construction companies rely on mobile work trailers or tents for this purpose. Adding a heating or cooling feature also gives workers a break from extreme temperatures.
Utilize Emergency Power Systems
High winds, flash floods, extremely hot and cold temperatures and many other factors make the chances of accidents and injuries rise exponentially. When the power and lights go out, the danger grows even more. Being storm-ready for many businesses means having the necessary power equipment to respond to an unexpected outage or disaster. Having a backup generator to power your business and light towers on-site are severe summer weather safety tips that protect against blackouts caused by heat waves and intense storms.
You’ll not only be able to keep your equipment running and production moving forward, but also shed some light on the situation for improved jobsite safety and emergency response.
Be Prepared Before It’s Too Late
The time to take action to protect your people, your organization and your valuable assets is now, before an emergency takes place. For more severe weather safety tips for work and power system solutions, contact NMC The Cat Rental Store today. We offer a wide range of new, used and rental backup and standby emergency generators as well as light towers and other safety tools and accessories. Browse our rental temperature-control equipment, trench boxes, pumps and more to prepare for handling severe weather safely. To make a rental reservation, call 855-NMC-RENT, visit your nearest location or contact a team member online.