MOUNT PEARL, N.L. – With Hurricane Larry bearing down on Newfoundland and Labrador, local associations are helping their members prepare for the oncoming storm.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Construction Safety Association (NLCSA) has released a “Toolbox Talk” document specific to hurricane preparedness for construction projects, breaking down what to do before, during and after the event.
“Having a plan in place is critical in reducing the risk to workers when there is a major storm. High winds and heavy rainfall are key factors in what job tasks can commence daily and/or what precautions must be in place prior to starting a job,” the document stated.
The document stresses the importance of a risk assessment of a construction site to assess potential hazards due to heavy rain and high winds. Preventive measures include monitoring the weather to determine when the storm will arrive and considering stopping work during the storm.
Site housekeeping tasks include considering any object a potential projectile, tying down loose objects inside structures, disconnecting electrical equipment that could be affected by water and flooding and moving any objects well away from powerlines.
To avoid structural damage, remove items from rooftops, dismantle scaffolding or ensure hoarding is able to withstand potentially induced loads by consulting with manufacturer specifications or seeking advice from a professional engineer.
Dismantle cranes, move vehicles from open areas and park them alongside buildings, check fencing integrity and remove items from trenches in case of a cave-in.
After the storm has passed, an assessment should be conducted to identify damage and any additional hazards that arose during the storm. The document also advises to walk cautiously in wet or muddy conditions and consider potential hidden hazards including electricity. Trenches and trench boxes should be examined along with scaffolding if it was not initially dismantled. Areas where objects have been piled should be examined to determine stability.
To read the full NLCSA document go here.