Performing construction work in stormy weather can be challenging. Here are two tips which should make this process simpler and safer.
Take steps to protect your construction materials
The rain and low temperatures that often occur during storms can wreak havoc on construction materials. Given that damaged materials can lead to major delays and cost overruns, it's sensible to take steps to protect these items if the weather takes a turn for the worst during your building project.
Plywood products, for example, can succumb to the effects of wet rot (a fungus that thrives in oxygen-rich, wet conditions) if they are left outside during a rainstorm. If your plywood does develop this issue, it will begin to weaken and crumble, potentially to the point where it loses its structural integrity and needs to be replaced.
As such, if a storm is expected to occur, you should bring all of your plywood products indoors and store them in a space which is well-ventilated and completely dry. In instances where this is not possible (for example, if the construction team have already started to use the plywood to build the roof decking) any exposed sections of this material should be covered with waterproof sheeting.
Keep construction workers safe
Sometimes, due to time constraints, construction work needs to continue, even during periods of stormy weather. However, performing construction tasks outdoors when it is raining heavily can be both challenging and dangerous.
Given this, it is important for site managers to take certain precautions, to ensure that their labourers are not injured when working outside during bouts of bad weather.
Workers should be encouraged to wear layers of clothing, to prevent their body temperature from dropping too low when working in cold, wet conditions. They should also be provided with waterproof outwear.
Additionally, site managers should set up mobile break stations, in which there are portable heaters and kettles, so that labourers can warm themselves up and prepare hot drinks throughout the course of the work day.
Lastly, workers should be made aware of the dangers of trench foot, a serious type of foot infection which they may develop if they whilst standing on wet, muddy ground for several hours at a time.
This condition can be prevented, simply by making sure that workers wear appropriate footwear; ideally, they should wear ankle or calf-length boots which are waterproof and have interior insulation, so that their feet remain warm and dry, irrespective of the weather conditions.