The winter weather can be a huge obstacle to the production schedule of any construction company, but good planning can help to keep the job going and the revenue coming in. As a project manager, you will have to make some concessions for winter because no one ever wins a fight with Mother Nature. But there are plenty of ways to make sure that the wintertime is just as profitable for your construction site as the rest of the year.
Protect Employees From Winter Construction Falls
When the ground and exposed parts of your structure are iced over during the winter, you need to act fast to prevent injuries. OSHA offers plenty of guidance on how to properly anchor scaffolding in the winter and how to make exposed areas safe for walking. It is important that you do not allow any workers on your job site who are not wearing the right kind of boots to work in winter weather. To combat the icy conditions, you workers need boots with thick soles and plenty of good traction. Remind your workers that taking smaller steps instead of long strides on the ice will also prevent falls.
It is important that you do not allow any workers on your job site who are not wearing the right kind of boots to work in winter weather. To combat the icy conditions, you workers need boots with thick soles and plenty of good traction. Remind your workers that taking smaller steps instead of long strides on the ice will also prevent falls.
Navigating Your Jobsite When It Is Under Snow
It is important to pay attention to ditches, hills, and roads as you prepare your job site for the winter. You can either fill ditches in with stone that can be removed in the spring, or put tall marker flags along the ditch to warn workers. As you do snow removal from your job site roads, be sure to put the snow piles at the top of inclines to make sure the melted snow does not run back into your roads in spring and make a muddy mess. Any larger hills should also be marked with flags to prevent your equipment from getting stuck.
Do Pre-Winter Prep Work
If winter is coming and you need to drill post holes, then don’t put that off. Fences, erosion blankets, anchored posts all need to be installed before the snow falls to prevent the frozen ground from making installation impossible. As the weather breaks and the thawing starts, be sure to stabilize your important soil areas to prevent the rich soil from running off in the thaw.
Plan Your Production Schedule Accordingly
The best way to be productive in the winter is to schedule as much indoor work as possible in advance and avoid being out in the cold conditions. As you start planning project timelines, keep an eye on the calendar and make good decisions when it comes to handling the winter weather.
During the winter, you will inevitably have to stop work on days when the weather makes work too hazardous. Discuss ways to make up the time with your crew such as working a Saturday to make up a day lost, or coming in early to make up time lost on the previous day.
Know Your Equipment
Proper equipment maintenance during the winter is critical to getting work done and prevent spending a lot of cash on repairs. Review the manufacturer’s guidelines on maintenance during the winter to make sure you are doing everything that needs to be done to keep your equipment running smooth. Do your best to have storage areas where you can protect your equipment from the weather and opportunistic criminals.
Worker Health Is Important In The Colder Months
It may seem cruel, but be prepared to send home workers who are obviously not dressed properly for the winter weather. Hold training sessions prior to the winter arriving to make sure that your workers know how to dress to avoid weather-related medical issues. You need to set up warming tents at various spots throughout the job site that offer shelter, warmth, and warm beverages to combat the cold.
Most construction companies that operate in cold weather climates like to stay working all year round. If you are going to expose your workers and equipment to the winter cold, then you need to plan in advance to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible. Be sure to use the right materials to build in the cold, and provide your workers with the training and resources they need to avoid becoming victims to the bitter winds of winter.