27th February, 2014

Is your site prepared for winter?

While we might not want to say goodbye to summer just yet, making sure construction sites are ready for the winter season can take weeks or even months or preparation – so there's no better time to start than now.

In Western Australia, reported damage from severe weather events tends to become more frequent during the middle of year as the state slips into its May-to-October winter storm season.

Each year, between May and October, Western Australia is subjected to tornados, thunder storms, hail, flash flooding and gale force winds, according to the WA Department of Fire and Emergency Services.

These extreme weather events often cause significant damage – particularly to the southern half of the state. This covers the area between Kalbarri and Israelite Bay, which puts construction sites in Perth directly in the firing line.

In order to prepare your site for winter storms, it is important to ensure your construction insurance policy includes cover for extreme weather events. Weather cover will help your company recover from the financial burden of storm-related damage.

Additionally, construction site owners and managers are encouraged to take steps to mitigate the risk of weather damage. This includes planning which tasks to complete first, planting vegetation or installing wind-guards and storing equipment, machinery and tools indoors.

If possible, construction workers should be encouraged to complete all outdoor work before the colder conditions arrive. This will prevent a stiff and cold worker from potentially falling from heights or becoming ill due to the weather conditions.

Investing in wind-guards or vegetation around the site can protect workers from being blown from platforms and can also minimise damage to materials and structures.

Equipment and machinery should be stored indoors or under cover when not in use to prevent damage from wind, hail and the cold. Site owners can also consider machinery and equipment insurance to help cover replacement and repair costs should damage occur.

Author: Murray Bruce