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Top 7 Construction Safety Plans for Hurricane Season

Last Updated: March 12, 2024

Top 7 Construction Safety Plans for Hurricane Season

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Each year, construction companies gear up for hurricane season, facing an ever-growing challenge. It's clear that hurricanes are becoming stronger, more intense, and more destructive with each passing year. Dealing with hurricane cleanup and debris isn't just a concern for construction sites; it affects entire states.

According to Massachusetts Contractors Academy,

“In the face of another potentially devastating hurricane season, construction supervisors must prioritize preparations to safeguard their job sites and employees just as homeowners prepare their homes.”

Thankfully, there are several practical steps you can take to prepare for hurricanes. Safety is paramount, especially in the southeastern states along the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Over the past century, Florida, Texas, Louisiana, and the Carolinas have been hit by over 50 hurricanes, many of them surpassing Category 3 in intensity. However, states like Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi have also experienced hurricanes of various strengths.

Three Major Hurricane Safety Threats Construction Sites Commonly Face

1. High wind speeds can cause loose materials and debris at a construction site to become dangerous projectiles that could harm the structural components of the project.

2. Buildings constructed in low-lying areas are susceptible to flooding and foundation damage, which can sometimes necessitate contractors to completely restart their projects.

3. Powerful storms can bring down large construction equipment, like cranes, and devastate entire construction sites, posing risks to workers and causing damage to nearby buildings.

Top 7 Construction Safety Plans for Hurricane Season

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1. Write a Hurricane Preparedness and Safety Plan

Safety committees should ensure that all employees have access to a construction-specific hurricane preparedness plan. While some sites may provide brief memos, it's essential that these memos cover safety procedures and evacuation routes adequately.

Offering basic construction safety training is the most effective way to educate employees on how to prepare for and safely navigate through a hurricane. According to the United States Health and Safety Administration, a proper hurricane emergency plan should contain the following six elements:

  • Conditions that will activate the plan
  • Chain of command
  • Emergency functions and who will perform them
  • Specific evacuation procedures, including routes and exits
  • Procedures for accounting for personnel, customers, and visitors
  • Equipment for personnel

2. Monitor Reports and Local Announcements

Incorporate information about emergency websites into your hurricane construction plan. It's vital for construction site crews to be able to access local and federal websites, as well as NOAA reports.

The first and foremost step is to ensure that your team not only has access to these websites but also understands the importance of consistently monitoring them. Weather conditions can change swiftly in the Gulf, so keeping a vigilant eye on updates is essential.

3. Communicate the Plan with Your Team

While having a well-thought-out plan for dealing with tropical storms is important, it's equally crucial to ensure that your entire team is on the same page. Don't hesitate to engage with local building departments for added support.

Your hurricane readiness checklist should include team and department meetings that lay out safety protocols for both community residents and employees in case of a storm.

4. Take Inventory and Document All Work in Progress

An essential aspect of a well-rounded hurricane preparedness plan for construction sites is keeping thorough records of all ongoing work. This practice not only expedites the insurance process but can also streamline the rebuilding process if necessary. Ensure your documentation includes photographs and detailed itemized lists.

 5. Secure Job Site Materials

According to Youngjib Ham, Texas A&M Assistant Professor of Construction Science,

“Cranes and other heavy equipment are vulnerable to high winds or flying debris… Loose materials, jobsite machinery, and equipment can become projectiles that wreak havoc on the site, machinery and surrounding areas.”

When you get advance warning of an approaching storm, it's a good idea to have any dumpsters picked up before the storm hits. The debris inside these dumpsters can be a significant risk to the neighborhoods nearby as well as to the construction site itself.

If it's not feasible to remove the dumpsters, make sure to cover them thoroughly with tarps. Don't forget to move heavy equipment to a safe spot, like a garage, and clear the site of all tools and smaller equipment. If there are portable bathrooms or temporary fencing in place, make sure to take those down as well.

These steps are crucial to protect everything during the storm. Once you've cleared away loose materials, it's crucial to ensure the safety of the structures on-site. Take the time to board up windows and any openings you find. If it's possible, placing sandbags around the foundation can be a smart move, as it helps keep water from seeping into the building.

6. Secure Hazardous Chemicals

Hazardous chemicals can pose a grave danger to the environment. Though removing them entirely might not always be possible, using storage tanks built to withstand storms can help prevent or minimize any potential harm. It's essential to include a third-party cleanup team in your tropical storm preparedness plan to address any leaks or spills that may occur.

7. Help with Hurricane Debris Clean Up and Restoration

Contracting companies often step up to lend a hand in cleaning up debris and managing damage after a hurricane. This reflects the community-focused ethos of the construction industry.

They have access to a range of construction equipment, including backhoes, skid steers, track loaders, excavators, and more, which greatly simplifies the task of debris removal. What's also not unusual is for general contractors and those with construction experience to offer restoration services to homes, small businesses, and parks that have suffered from severe weather damage. No matter the extent of their help, any assistance provided after a severe storm is truly admirable and makes a significant impact.

Construction Safety is Essential During Hurricane Season

Hurricane season is an unpredictable time of year for those who live in potential landfall areas. Construction safety during hurricane season is essential to prevent bad situations getting worse.

Construction companies are obligated to ensure they are taking every precaution to protect their employees and job sites. Since hurricanes can be so unpredictable, being prepared is a requirement to prevent issues that lead to excessive damage or injuries.

Rent a Dumpster to Prepare for Hurricane Season

Large dumpsters are the go-to solution for efficient disaster relief cleanup. They make the process much smoother by gathering all the waste in one place. This not only speeds up town recovery after a storm but also ensures that the local environment remains unharmed by debris.

If the unfortunate event of a hurricane, a residential dumpster will help make the cleanup process less stressful. Discount Dumpster makes ordering a roll off dumpster easy. With dumpster sizes available from 10-40 yards, you are sure to find the perfect size for your cleanup project.

Call Today to Rent a Storm Preparation Dumpster! - (888) 316-7010

About Taylor Grenko

Hi, I'm Taylor! I have years of experience in providing valuable content for many different niches. Recently my knowledge has expanded into waste management as a writer for Discount Dumpster. Follow my posts to learn along with me!

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