As the presence of winter becomes clearer, so does the changed nature of construction projects around us. Construction workers spend their days contributing to important jobs that require great physical expertise and skills.
The colder weather can significantly affect their work by restricting people’s movement and transport. This can lead to impeded progress, leading to delays, safety concerns, and potential financial setbacks.
While these can be properly addressed with the help of cognizant techniques, it is important to understand the various adversities of winter that construction sites face. This article is a comprehensive look into these very challenges and how they work.
Challenges Posed On Construction By The Colder Weather
The challenges posed to construction workers by cold weather are not unknown. Frost, sudden drops, slipper areas, and much more pose a great threat to the life of workers, the speed of the work, as well as its quality. Each challenge is unique and needs to be understood in a certain context.
So, here are some common challenges faced in winter construction and the way workers deal with them.
Navigating Through Snowfall
The relentless snowfall is an inevitable phenomenon of winter that constantly hinders the construction developments going on in the area. Construction sites that remain uncovered are blanketed in snow, which hinders mobility and logistics.
Heavy snow accumulation can paralyze operations, making it arduous for workers to transport materials and operate heavy machinery. For this reason, clearing pathways and sites from snow and frost remains a primary goal.
It is also important to cover the sites as well as the machinery if possible. This demands not only additional manpower but also specialized equipment, such as snowplows and de-icing agents.
Clearing snow in due time helps in unobstructed movement, which in turn safeguards the workers while allowing them to work on time.
Handling Workers’ Safety On Site
Winters are one of the most dangerous times for construction workers. Bitter cold increases the risk of hypothermia and frostbite, while icy surfaces constantly threaten slips and falls. The latter can cause dire physical injuries, even leading to loss of life on site.
Companies usually invest in high-quality thermal wear along with slip-resistant safe boots for winter work so workers can carry out their jobs without falling prey to the woes of the weather.
Workers must be aware of the risks associated with winter construction and be equipped with the knowledge to protect themselves, promoting a secure working environment.
Working On The Frozen Ground
Even with little to no snow to cause a problem, the frost can still cause frozen ground, which is the cause of major injuries.
This ground type is also hard and slippery, hindering digging processes, smooth movement, and workers’ tasks. Complex thawing systems can significantly help in navigating through this problem by increasing the temperature of the ground.
Preventing Material From Freezing
Construction materials like adhesives, paints, and concrete are likely to be ruined by the colder weather. Their susceptibility to freezing temperatures calls for much more careful storage. Without these, a large number of jobs will go unfinished, and projects will be delayed.
Moreover, the freezing can lead to constant losses on the end of the supplying committee. Climate-controlled storage facilities maintain materials at optimal temperatures.
Concrete additives that enhance curing properties in low temperatures are utilized, ensuring that construction can proceed seamlessly regardless of the weather conditions.
Managing Delays Due To Blockage
As mentioned earlier, the snowfall of winter can be a huge hindrance to construction sites. However, this is also true for the transportation that connects to the site. Vital materials cannot make their way on time due to snow blockages and winter damage on the roads.
To circumvent these challenges, construction companies establish comprehensive supply chain strategies. Alternative routes and backup suppliers are identified, minimizing the impact of transportation disruptions.
Apart from this, keeping the concerned authorities informed regarding the blockages is also necessary to ensure their removal.
As winters continue to pose harsh conditions upon construction activities, sites, and workers, a wide array of solutions also follow to ensure the safety of everyone involved in this process.
Winter construction, with its unique challenges, becomes not just a test of endurance but a testament to the resilience and adaptability of the construction industry. With careful planning and understanding of the implications of these challenges, a lot can be done to undo and prevent the damage.