Storm Preparedness on Construction Sites

Spring brings with it storms and severe weather. Of all the places you could be when a storm is brewing—or strikes without warning—a construction site is one of the most dangerous.

In addition to the physical danger of being on a construction site during severe weather, storms can cost construction companies millions of dollars in damages. In order to keep people and property safe in the event of storms, it is important that workers are trained on what to do in the event severe weather strikes, whether a storm is a hurricane, tornado, or thunderstorm.

The following checklist will help to ensure that your construction site and all working on that site remain safe:

  1. Complete regular maintenance for electrical and mechanical equipment
  2. Maintain an adequate number of sandbags or water detention devices in case of flooding
  3. Secure all staging areas and trailers before the stormy season
  4. Store small items that could be blown or washed away in buildings
  5. Make sure that electronic devices have battery power
  6. Check that all emergency power generators are working
  7. Check batteries in emergency exit signals and lights
  8. Stock up on emergency kits and flashlights
  9. Educate key personnel on what to do in the event of a chemical or oil spill
  10. Confirm that phone numbers for all state and local emergency agencies are prominently posted
  11. Assign every worker a specific task to perform in the event of a storm
  12. Post a storm-preparedness action plan where all workers can see it

Once a storm hits, a formal action plan should be put into action. This action plan will include things like:

  1. The removal of debris or hazardous objects
  2. Dismounting and securing of scaffolding
  3. Protection of underground drains and pipes
  4. Disabling power lines and removing temporary connections
  5. Securing hazardous materials
  6. Covering windows and glass
  7. Lowering booms or hooking the load line to a low point
  8. Covering and securing dumpsters
  9. Closing open excavations
  10. Disassembling temporary structures
  11. Removing debris from catch basins and storm water inlets
  12. Securing heavy equipment in designated areas

While these are not exhaustive lists, they are a good start to your storm preparedness on construction sites. Hiring a safety consulting firm to help formulate a safety preparedness plan as well as conduct employee training is always a good idea, as well.

Construction site during rainstorm