Surviving the Spring Construction Season
After the long winter months halted work on a great many job sites, construction firms are back to work with gusto. But the spring months hold some unique challenges for contractors and their crews, says Construction Business Owner, and a few tool and equipment modifications might make the difference in whether work stays on course or gets sidelined by problems that arise.
A major consideration for workers during these cooler, rainier spring months should be what sort of protective clothing they are wearing on the job site. If team members are not wearing waterproof clothing, an article in Construction Business Owner says, expect them to get damp, and then get sick, and then need to stay home. Also, trench foot – a too-common condition of those working on outdoor sites in cold weather, can occur even in conditions of 60 degrees, OSHA says, and it’s especially prevalent in springtime conditions. Moreover, 38 percent of construction workers report not having health insurance, which makes good gear all the more important in order to keep them well.
An investment by contractors into this protective gear for their crews will pay itself back with the productivity it creates among the workforce, and it should be considered as essential as guardrails and anti-slip treads on stairs and landings.
Just as the spring months can represent special challenges for workers, it can also wreak havoc on materials and equipment, the article says. For example, concrete poured in temps that are too low causes a dramatic drop in its durability and strength. Drywall, joint compound and paint are all susceptible to cold temps as well, and jumping the gun on projects when nighttime low temperatures might still get frigid can cause considerable setbacks. Likewise, some fireproofing applications require sustained temperatures above 40 degrees in order to set properly, and applying them too soon can cause the product to fail.
Other jobsite considerations in the spring surround larger equipment that may have sat on a job site over the winter, with things like tire pressure and battery cranking power often in need of examination before putting machinery back to work.
And getting back to work is what everyone wants after a long, cold winter, but implementing a few springtime strategies can be what it takes to make sure that happens.