Site shutdowns can happen for any number of reasons – loss of funding, safety issues, natural disasters, political issues, and so on. A site shutdown that is beyond your control is an inevitability for contractors – it’s a matter of “when” , not “if”.
When you’re not on site, any number of things can happen. The most common issues contractors run into are fires, water and weather damage, as well as theft and vandalism.
So how can you protect your job site while you wait for permission to start work again? Here’s a few different things to take care of before you shut the whole thing down.
Make A “Stop Work” Plan
As contractors, we should always be planning for the worst case scenario to happen. Construction is an extremely volatile industry prone to random stoppages – so having a plan to deal with anything is critical.
To deal with any situation where you have to stop work immediately, having a plan for stopping work – a “Stop Work” Plan – goes a long way.
This plan contains all of the protocols and procedures for shutting down a worksite safely and effectively, so that you’re protected from the risks that come along with having to stop work.
This plan will include precautions to take with regards to weather, water, fire, theft, vandalism, trespassing, destruction, and general public safety with regards to the jobsite. Here’s a few ways to deal with these in your Stop Work plan.
To fireproof your site, always make sure you remove anything flammable or combustible from the job site. This includes electronics like space heaters.
Ensure your fire sprinkler systems are working, if you intend to maintain them during non-operation. If they’re not active, drain the lines and secure the main water supply valves to prevent use.
Make sure your job is waterproof by shutting off any domestic water supply to the site. Search the site thoroughly for any leaks or running water and make sure they are taken care of before leaving the site.
Don’t leave anything that’s unsealed or temporarily sealed to weather, along with any walls or exposed roofs. Set up some sort of leak detection technology to ensure that water doesn’t ruin all your hard work while you’re gone.
Ensure everything that could be affected by weather is properly protected and secured.
Cover lumber, drywall or anything that could rot by simply being exposed to moisture. Protect any electric outlets from exposure to the elements. Disassemble and remove anything that could break, snap or otherwise be destroyed by winds or moisture.
Continuous security is necessary to keep your assets protected.
At the very least, build a fence around the perimeter of the site, and ensure it is constantly maintained. All gates should be locked with padlocks to deter entry. Secure all work trailers or storage with heavy locks.
Continuous security of your construction site also means foot patrols, motion detectors and video security systems. You need to keep eyes on your site at all times, both in-person and remotely.
The easiest way to stop theft or vandalism is to remove anything valuable from your site – give thieves no reason to enter the site in the first place. Easily-removed tech like computers or tablets should be taken to a storage facility until work begins again.
These are the easiest ways to protect against the most common threats facing a closed jobsite. Learn more best practices for construction sites (and become your own boss) by enrolling at CSLS today!