The rainy season can be challenging for those working in the construction industry. Rain, lightning, and thunderstorms are common occurrences during this time of year, making it difficult to get construction work done safely and efficiently.
However, with careful planning and preparation, you can ensure your project is completed on schedule despite the weather conditions. This article will explore some safety tips to help manage construction projects during the monsoons.
Challenges Construction workers Face During the Rainy Season
Rainy days pose several challenges when managing construction sites. They include:
During the rainy season, everything is wet and slippery; thus, the chances of slipping and falling are high. And these could result in serious injuries. The rain also obscures your vision, making it challenging to see in front.
And the workers could be compromised by ailments like fever, flu, and pneumonia due to prolonged exposure to cold temperatures. And remember that thunderstorms and lightning threaten those operating steel and electrical equipment.
Delays are inevitable in construction sites during the rainy season. Excess moisture compromises the structure and building materials. Delays cause losses and increases in expenditure. However, you can avoid losses with strategic planning and preparation.
Damage to Fitted Structures
Accuracy is very crucial in construction. However, due to the high moisture, fitted structures such as windows and doors undergo morphing and warping, which causes them not to fit as it was initially designed. Thus, leaving gaps that need repairs later on, and worse, it causes our heating and cooling expenses to skyrocket.
Damage to the Structure
The rain causes significant damage to your structure as the untreated wood absorbs too much moisture that, causes them to crack and swell. This could later lead to poor foundation and leaks.
As we all know, rain and metal don’t go together. And the signs may not appear at the time, but your structure will be compromised in the future as the rust weakens the metal.
During the monsoon season, soil erosion is inevitable, compromising the foundation as the rain washes massive amounts of soil. This makes your foundation unstable and could result in weak walls or cracks, which will be costly to repair.
Tips for Managing the Construction During the Monsoons
If you are working on a build during the rainy season, the following tips will help ensure your safety and that of your construction site.
Check the Weather Forecast
Before starting any large-scale construction project during monsoon season, always check local weather forecasts first. Although the weather is always unpredictable, having an inkling of the weather condition to expect in the coming days allows you to plan your construction schedule accordingly. For example, avoid scheduling outdoor work on days with forecasts of thunderstorms or heavy downpours.
To be on the safe side, you should work with the weather forecasting station and set up a system where they can send you sms alerts of impending storms.
Prepare Your Construction Site
Heavy rain can quickly turn a construction site into a muddy mess, making it difficult for workers to access certain areas and slowing down progress. To avoid this, ensure your work area is well-drained before the rainy season starts.
You must also lay down tarps or plastic sheets around the site’s perimeter to block water and mud from entering. And cover the scaffolding with protective sheets; you must have a dry place to store your work tools and materials that need to stay dry, such as cement bags. This will help keep things dry even when there’s heavy rainfall outside.
After electing a wall, it is tough to protect it from the rain by covering it with protective sheets, as it would be a lot of work, and the chances of the sheets slipping are high. Therefore, experts recommend sealing brickworks to prevent moisture from seeping in. You must use a top-quality brick sealer.
Cement is an important ingredient in most building projects, and its quality needs to be maintained despite exposure to wet conditions during the rainy season. Investing in premium cement brands designed to be rain-resistant will help ensure the structural integrity of your building or structure.
Beware of Live Wires
Wet weather can increase the risk of electric shocks due to fallen power lines or faulty wiring. Always ensure that you and your workers avoid any visible electrical wires during rainy days, as water is an excellent conductor of electricity.
You must also avoid working with large machineries like cranes or diggers when it’s raining outside, as they could potentially get damaged by heavy downpours. And if you must use equipment operated with electricity, ensure you are wearing insulated gear that can protect you from electric currents. And the method is switching off electricity on the main outlet.
Wear Protective and Waterproof Gears
Sometimes you must work even while it’s raining, so construction workers must take extra safety precautions. They must wear protective gear, such as headgear and waterproof clothing (raincoats & boots), to ensure they remain safe even in slippery conditions. It’s also essential to provide them with quality eyewear, such as anti-fog goggles, so their vision isn’t impaired by water droplets on lenses while working outdoors.
Cover Your Materials
Rainy weather often means strong winds that can blow away loose materials like sand or gravel used in building projects if left uncovered. To prevent this from happening, always make sure all construction materials are covered securely with tarpaulins or protective plastic sheets during breaks between work sessions. Store extra materials inside a waterproof storage shed until needed again later in the project timeline.
A good pair of non-slip boots is essential for wet weather safety measures at a construction site. Investing in high-quality footwear with rubber soles designed for the monsoon season will help keep workers’ feet dry and provide extra grip on slippery surfaces.
Walk With Caution
Walking around a construction site can be dangerous during rainy days due to the risk of slipping or tripping over wet materials like mud, gravel, or loose stones.
Always remind your workers to take extra care when walking in such conditions and wear non-slip boots with good treads for added safety. You must also ensure that any holes or gaps in the ground are covered before working to avoid accidents. And avoid working in areas where there are deep trenches to prevent accidents.
Avoid Electrical Tools and Equipment
The risk of electric shocks increases considerably during monsoon season due to water seeping into electrical components. To avoid electrical hazards, it’s best to refrain from using powered tools or equipment until after the rain has stopped completely and all moisture is adequately dried.
If you must use them while it’s raining, always double-check that they are functioning correctly beforehand and have someone standing by with a fire extinguisher in case something goes wrong. And wear insulated gear to protect you from electric shock.
Cover Deep Trenches
It’s crucial to cover deep trenches when it rains heavily outdoors as this helps prevent flooding, which could potentially damage equipment stored inside them, such as ladders or scaffolding. Ensure all trenches are covered with a tarp or protective plastic sheets to keep the water out and ensure your workers stay safe from any potential hazards.
Ensure Water Drains Are Not Blocked
Heavy downpours can cause drains around construction sites to become blocked due to debris, mud, or leaves getting stuck in them. Before it starts raining, check all drainage systems on site and clear away any blockages if necessary so that rainwater doesn’t build up and flood areas of the work area.
Do Not Work During Thunderstorms
Thunderstorms pose a serious threat when working outdoors as they can bring lightning, potentially injuring those nearby. When storms start brewing outside, always remind your workers to take shelter immediately until the storm passes before continuing their work again once it’s safe enough for them to do so. You must also avoid using cranes and ladders when thunderstorms and lightning occur, which can lead to severe accidents.
Caution the Workers Not to Go to Hidden Areas
Monsoons often bring heavy winds that may uncover hidden gaps or crevices in buildings left uncovered during construction. This poses a major safety risk for anyone who accidentally falls into these openings, especially since they may not be visible from ground level due to being obscured by walls or other structures.
Sensitize your worker to stay away from certain areas during the rainy season because they risk getting into an accident by falling into a ditch or trench that may take hours or days before they can be rescued, which can lead to severe injuries or death.
Managing construction projects during the monsoons is challenging as it presents several challenges due to wet and windy conditions. And this causes a loss of revenue and resources and delays in meeting the client’s timeline.
However, with careful planning and preparation, such as checking weather forecasts, covering materials, and ensuring safety measures are taken care of properly, you can ensure that your project is completed on schedule, even in these challenging times.