How to Prepare for Winter Shutdown
With a large proportion of construction sites about to shut down for a fortnight, I thought it would be a good idea to share some tips to ensure that they remain safe over the holiday season.
Prior to shutdown, make sure that you walk the entire site, checking that any excavations have been back filled or covered over; that your scaffold has been inspected and access removed; any part-built structures or temporary works are adequately supported (you may need to consider any additional loading that may be imposed by snow, rain or high winds); and that all plant and equipment are secured and immobilised.
If you are leaving heating running over the holiday, ensure that it is thermostatically controlled and that combustible materials cannot fall onto heaters to prevent fires starting. Wherever possible flammable substances such as Petrol, LPG, Butane Oxy acetylene etc should also be removed from site.
Arson is a threat to your site whatever time of year, so it is always a good idea to keep combustible materials away from the site perimeter and the building under construction.
If you already have services installed on site, it may be beneficial to drain down water systems to prevent burst pipes or flooding and switch off other non-essential services
Security is also important. Make sure that your perimeter fencing is secure and cannot be easily climbed to prevent anyone gaining access, as you remain responsible for the health and safety of any persons visiting your site, whether legally or not. Check also that it is sturdy enough to withstand any high winds.
It is always a good idea to maintain good relationships with neighbours, as they can be your eyes and ears outside of working hours, therefore sharing and displaying an emergency contact number is a good idea.