#3 – Weather…
Weather presents a unique challenge to repair work. Types of severe weather that can affect work safety, quality and schedule are:
• Snow • Hurricanes • Flooding • Thunderstorms • High Winds • Hot Weather
As everyone knows, weather is unpredictable and can wreak havoc on projects – especially those taking place outdoors. It is important to remember that, while preparation and contingency plans can go a long way towards mitigating the risks associated with severe weather, it is impossible to plan for every weather possibility.
Some types of severe weather can be worked through; others require the pausing of work for periods of time. It should be obvious that you seek shelter during summer’s thunderstorms and that you can’t work through a flood or hurricane. Trying to perform crane lifts during high winds is a definite no-no. However, one type of weather that is often overlooked as a driver of inefficiency and a true safety danger is hot weather. Hot weather is often dismissed as a true safety risk, even though it is one of the most dangerous and often-encountered weather hazards.
OSHA does not have a specific standard that covers working in hot environments. Nonetheless, employers have a duty to protect workers from recognized hazards in the workplace, including heat-related hazards. Studies have shown most heat-related illnesses occur on the first day of the project, especially when a worker was not acclimatized to working outdoors in the heat. The Heat Index can be used to create a schedule of breaks to remind outdoor workers to cool down and hydrate.
It’s an understatement to suggest that the worker efficiency of performing work during any type of extreme weather can affect schedule and cost. Keep this in mind when reviewing proposals for future projects and ask good questions to ensure there is a good understanding of potential schedule and cost implications based on typical extreme weather situations that may be present during the project.