The holiday season is here and that means many construction sites will be shutting down for a while. While many workers and contractors will be welcoming a much-deserved break — there a few things to consider before you close a construction site to keep the property and everyone else safe.
Empty sites can cause problems if they are not properly closed. If construction materials are not securely locked up, the area can be subject to theft and even vandalism. There is also the risk of accidental injuries resulting from flammable materials left out or construction gear not safely stored.
It’s important to have the relevant security procedures in place to keep construction environments safe during the upcoming holidays.
Preventing Theft and Vandalism
- Store all equipment in a locked and preferable hidden storage unit. Take valuable materials that don’t have to be stored onsite to a secure location.
- Keep non-storable materials hidden it from view. Even if it is unlikely to be a target of theft, it could still be subject to vandalism and/or accidental damage.
- Put locks on all doors, windows, and all other building entry points.
- Keep the area well lit at night.
- Have a surveillance system in place, whether that means hiring someone or deploying hidden cameras.
- Use tracking devices on the equipment. It will be easier for authorities to track.
- Check your Builder’s Risk insurance policy to see what might be covered.
Prevent Accidents and Injuries
- Install barriers to any hazardous areas such as manholes, dugouts, and trenches.
- Put warning signs out in all appropriate areas.
- Weather-proof your site. The holidays can be a time when the winds kick up and structures like scaffolding and work planks can tip over and cause dangerous accidents and injuries if not soundly tied down. Be sure to securely lock up structures like gates and fences and block pedestrian access to any areas that could cause someone to fall. Use water-proof protective coverings and cover all areas and surfaces like concrete foundations, which are porous, and water can seep through and cause damage.
- Store all hazardous materials and chemicals, and ensure that the site is free of anything that could catch fire.
- Turn off the power on all construction site machines and store any electrical equipment.
- Use a shutdown check list and adhere to it. Inspect the site before final closing and go over the list of all routines to confirm your site is secure.
Follow Regulations When Closing a Construction Site
- Adhere to the most up-to-date safety guidelines by the CDC and by OSHA . Confirm COVID-19 guidelines for construction are also adhered to.
- Follow all state and civic laws about when and how to close a site. For example, if your site is in New York City, you will want to adhere to the City’s guidelines.
- Confirm all construction stakeholders, such as customers, vendors and subcontractors know when the site will close and its status.