If you work in construction, you know how important a dry worksite can be. Dewatering the construction site prior to beginning work allows the site to be safer by lowering the risk of accidents, firms the soil where work will be conducted, and it also helps the environment by removing standing water that can be a target for mosquitos and toxins.
Construction Projects and Dewatering Precautions
Dewatering is needed on nearly all construction sites. Water needs to be removed from these sites to create a safer work environment, help prevent erosion, and also help protect the environment. It is important to consider some dewatering precautions before getting started on a project. Here are a few to remember:
- Water should never be pumped directly into slopes.
- Discontinue dewatering if the area shows signs of instability or erosion.
- Channels used for dewatering need to be steady and protected by grass and vegetation.
- Never dewater during heavy rains. The water and infiltration rate will be slower during the dewatering process or it will not function entirely.
- Never discharge water that contains oil, grease, or chemical products.
- Make sure to acquire any additional permits from state, local, or federal agencies.
There are many dewatering methods to get the dry worksite you need for your construction project. These vary from open excavation, trenches, gravity drainage channels, and also inflatable cofferdams. An Aqua-Barrier® Inflatable Water Dam is the perfect tool for many dewatering and construction projects and is a more environmentally friendly and safe alternative to other traditional dewatering methods.
ProTip: An Aqua-Barrier® Cofferdam is the perfect alternative to sheet piling and sandbags that is environmentally friendly, as well as cost and time effective.
Ensure Safety with Dewatering Precautions
Whether you are working on a bridge repair, pipeline construction, sediment control, or shoreline restorations, keeping your work site safe requires dewatering and following the dewatering precautions above.
Contact us to learn more reasons it is important to follow dewatering precautions to ensure a safe worksite.
According to OSHA, between 2011 and 2017, there were 79 fatalities and over 3070 non-fatal injuries among gas and pipeline workers. And while pipeline construction workers are at a higher risk of accidents, the good news is most are preventable when proper construction safety tips are practiced.
Staying Safe: Pipeline Construction Industry
Due to exceptionally heavy equipment, terrain issues, suspended loads, and many times inexperienced workers, pipeline construction workers have an increased risk of injury. To prevent accidents and keep everyone on the worksite safe, follow these six pipeline construction safety tips
- Company Culture of Safety
- Ongoing Safety Training
- Personal Protective Equipment
- Safe Excavation Procedures
- Heavy Equipment Safety
- Constant Awareness
1) Company Culture of Safety
Above all, safety trickles down from the top. Leaders need to create a culture of safety and set it at top priority. Everyone from the newest recruit through the CEO needs to have a safety first mindset. Leaders need to constantly communicate the importance and need for safety and make sure safety measures are always being implemented.
2) Ongoing Safety Training
Ongoing pipeline construction safety training needs to be a regular part of your company’s safety culture. By holding ongoing training classes, safe habits can be reinforced and new safety techniques and procedures can be learned.
3) Personal Protective Equipment
Pipeline workers should always be wearing their personal protective equipment, such as heavy steel-toed boots, eye protection, gloves, hard hats, or whatever else is needed to keep workers safe from harm.
4) Safe Excavation Procedures
Pipeline workers need to practice safe excavation procedures. Make sure they call to verify all underground utilities are marked prior to digging and also supply them with the best tools for excavating. For example, if working in an area that requires dewatering, don’t waste time on cumbersome sandbags that can cause back pain, opt for an inflatable cofferdam that can be set up quicker and safer.
5) Heavy Equipment Safety
Operators who work with heavy equipment need to be properly trained. Make sure they read the operation and maintenance manuals for each piece of equipment they work on. Before getting on a machine, they should already know how to properly use and operate the tool.
6) Constant Awareness
Many times, injuries happen because people just aren’t paying attention. Avoid slips, falls, and other accidents by always being aware of your surroundings. If you see debris laying in a walking path, clear it out of the way to help others from being injured, too.
Pipeline Construction Safety
When your workers feel safe, they are more productive and overall output is of higher quality. Go beyond normal safety standards and keep these higher standards enforced. By following the above tips, you can help make your pipeline construction sites safe and lower (if not remove) incidents of injury and accidents.
Contact us to learn more about pipeline construction safety tips.
Construction work is always risky, but bridge repair projects put workers at an even heightened danger. In fact, according to OSHA, over 14,000 workers are killed on the job per year. And, with more than 56,000 bridges in America deemed structurally insufficient in 2017, more and more workers will be finding opportunity in fixing these outdated structures.
Safe Bridge Repair Projects
Keeping workers safe on bridge repair projects takes the right tools and planning. Check out these three safety considerations for bridge repair projects to see what protective gear and equipment can help keep workers safe on the job.
- Specialized Bridge Access Equipment
- Dewatering and Diversion Equipment
- Eye, Face, and Foot Protection
1) Specialized Bridge Access Equipment
One of the top risks of working on bridge repair is falling from a high level to a lower one. Make sure to provide workers with equipment specifically designed for bridge work like bridgewalkers, hydra platforms, and UBITs, rather than retrofitting other equipment that isn’t meant for bridge repair.
2) Dewatering and Diversion Equipment
Many bridges take people over rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water and these bridge repair projects typically require dewatering or water diversion. Be sure to use equipment specialized just for this task, like the Aqua-Barrier® Cofferdam. Aqua-Barrier® can be installed 3-5 faster than other older, traditional methods. You can save significant time in the dewatering process and complete your bridge repair projects better and faster than your competition.
3) Eye, Face, and Foot Protection
OSHA requires bridge workers to wear proper safety protection to help prevent injuries. Bridge repair work puts workers at risk for eye and facial injuries because foreign particles from welding, grinding, cutting, or working with concrete can occur, as well as facial damage from extreme winds, dangerous chemicals, smoke, or electrical work. Foot protection is just as important and the correct shoes are important to help prevent slips, falls, and safety from electrical discharge.
Bride Repair & Dewatering Solutions
There are, of course, more safety measures and equipment that can help keep workers safe while doing bridge repair, but these three considerations can help prevent bridge repair related injuries and accidental deaths. Using the best equipment for the project (and used correctly) will help reduce workplace risks and make the job safer. You owe it to your valued employees to do all you can to protect them on the job.
Contact us to learn more about the best ways to keep your worksite safe during a bridge repair project.
In 2017, the number of floods across the United States was disastrous. Between Hurricane Harvey impacting most of the gulf coast, Hurricane Maria’s devastating effects on Puerto Rico, and the record-level high-waters in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri, floods affected millions of people and destroyed homes, businesses, and lives.
Enhance Flood Resilience
In many cities across the United States, flood risk is real and it is important for communities and businesses to come up with a viable disaster risk reduction plan. With these top tips for ensuring flood resilience, the impact of floods will be less, causing minimal damage, if any.
Community Hazard Mitigation Plan
Community planning and communication is key to a productive flood resilience plan. The community needs to make sure there is a comprehensive flood plan in place, along with hazard elements. This plan should cover flood and erosion-prone areas, and be approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Invest In Infrastructure
Investing in infrastructure can be extremely useful in ensuring flood resilience Investments can help with dispersing flood waters, and also in preventing secondary events, such as dams bursting or levee failures. Infrastructure improvements need to be worked into the community budget for bridges, culvert, and levee repairs.
Early Warning Systems
An effective early warning system should be a top priority in ensuring flood resilience. Warning systems should be people-centered and clearly understood. These warnings help keep people safe and, early action can be a major element of disaster risk reduction.
Prepare for the Aftermath
Being prepared for a flooding disaster and its aftermath can also help limit the damage. Funding and support efforts to rebuild are essential to post-event challenges. A comprehensive plan to discourage building in flooded areas should be avoided, or the elevation should be properly built up.
There are, with today’s technological advancements, more opportunities to predict where flooding disasters will occur. This allows industrial and commercial areas to prepare with flood protection tools, like the WIPP® (Water Inflated Property Protector), which help maximize protection during flooding events. The WIPP is the ultimate flood barrier to guard areas and properties from the devastation floods produce.
Flood Resilience Program
Floods affect more people than any other natural disaster, causing social and economic loss. On average, 250 million people globally are affected by floods each year. By following the above advice, you can help prevent and avoid tragedy.
To learn more about how you and your community can ensure flood resilience in your area, Contact Us.
Worker safety is critical to running a successful construction operation. Beyond regulatory compliance, your workers are a critical component of each project completion. Their skills, morale, and well-being play a major role in the quality and efficiency of your final product.
Construction Safety – The Basics
While safety in construction covers a range of topics, there are a few essential areas to consider. Your baseline for employee and worker safety is the regulations and safety guidelines lined out by OSHA and all other regulatory agencies. This is a minimum, however, and does not guarantee maximum safety for your workers. To achieve maximum safety, it will take a little more research and preparation. Get started with the following quick guide:
1) Tool Maintenance
Incidents with tools are a common source of worker injuries. Worn and broken tools eventually fail, causing serious and sometimes fatal injury. Implement and maintain a tool maintenance schedule which includes regular inspections. That way, you will find problematic tools as early on as possible. Repair or replace all worn and broken tools immediately.
2) Heavy Equipment
Getting on and off heavy equipment is another common source of worker injury. Make sure your workers are wearing proper footwear and gloves with high grip when using heavy equipment. Train them to check their boots and gloves before climbing and to clean off the mud. Look for the largest size holds for both hands and feet. If needed, use a step ladder. Don’t carry anything while climbing.
3) Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Make sure all your workers have and use all appropriate personal protective equipment. Back braces for lifting heavy objects, protective eyewear, gloves, appropriate footwear, and safety harnesses are all essential to keep on hand for each worker according to the jobs and tasks they perform.
4) Safe Loading and Unloading
Loading and unloading heavy equipment and other items is another common cause of serious worker injury. Injuries from equipment rolling over and improper lifting techniques occur frequently. Use straight ramps cleared off all objects and debris. Always leave sufficient space between the equipment and all workers in case of emergency. Train your workers in proper loading and unloading procedures to lessen the chance for serious injury.
5) Construction in Water
Construction in water presents many opportunities for danger and injury. Ensure all your workers are equipped with proper tools, safety gear, and hazard training. Consider using an inflatable bladder dam as your dewatering solution to maximize safety and efficiency.
Construction safety is essential for numerous reasons. At the end of the day, you are required by law to meet all regulatory safety requirements. Beyond that, however, when your workers feel safe, morale is higher, productivity is increased, and overall output is generally of higher quality. Safety must remain priority #1 Give your workers the best chance of success by providing, the safest, most productive environment possible.
To learn more about the use of inflatable bladder dams to increase worker safety and productivity, Contact Us.
Winter is almost upon us again and with winter comes winter storms and snow in many areas. If you have projects in areas where it snows, this means it’s time to begin preparations to protect your employees and projects. Cold weather takes a toll on your body, especially when you factor in wind chill. It’s important to take the necessary precautions.
7 Important Winter Storm Preparation Tips
Cold weather, snow, and ice slow down the human body and cause project delays, challenges, and worksite hazards. While you can’t prevent every delay and storm, worker safety is essential. Give your workers the comfort of knowing you’re protecting their safety with following winter preparation tips:
1) Minimize exposure to freezing temperatures
While workers who are unaccustomed to working in freezing temperatures are the most susceptible to the health hazards of cold weather, the extreme cold affects everyone. From hypothermia and frostbite to damaged blood vessels, the potential risks are serious to severe. If there is work that that’s impossible to reschedule, which is inevitable, provide your employees with warming stations and warm beverages.
2) Prevent icy slips
Require footwear with adequate traction to reduce the risk of slipping on icy surfaces. Encourage your employees and workers to also take shorter, slower steps to help maintain balance in slippery conditions.
3) Remove snow and ice safely
Construction is dangerous enough under normal conditions without the additional hazards of snow and ice. Remove all ice and snow before beginning work and place salt or sand on large patches of ice. Cold temperatures constrict arteries which increases the risk of heart attack. For this reason, no one with existing heart attack risk factors should be involved in snow shoveling.
4) Train workers on winter illnesses and injuries
Knowing the symptoms and warning signs of cold-related illnesses and injuries is essential to keeping your workers safe. Train your workers to identify these symptoms and warning signs in themselves and in each other and to call for emergency help right away. Provide information and resources to your employees such as OSHA’s cold stress quick card, which outlines prevention and treatment of cold-related illnesses.
5) Require proper clothing and gear
Workers should dress in warm, loose layers to promote adequate blood flow. The inner layer should be well-insulated and moisture-wicking and the outer layer should be waterproof. Waterproof, insulated boots with heavy-duty traction along with warm socks are advised for foot protection. A hat and gloves with grips for extra traction are also a must.
6) Discourage caffeinated beverages
Caffeine can increase workers’ heart rates which creates a false sensation of warmth. This may deter workers from seeking additional warmth when they need it. Instead, provide plenty of water and encourage your workers to drink water often throughout each day for hydration.
7) Provide a warm area for breaks
While working outside in the cold weather is inevitable in construction, workers still need a warm place to take a break. Whether a heated area indoors or a covered area heated with portable heaters, they need somewhere to warm and hydrate their bodies. It’s also a good idea for employees to keep extra clothes, warm drinks and blankets there.
When the Snow Begins to Melt
Once the snow begins to melt, you will face another winter-related hazard that could impact your worksites. Snowmelt flooding occurs as the snow melts and the ground is hardened and cannot absorb it all. The water flows back to rivers, streams, and lakes and the excess causes flooding. Prepare now by investing in a flood barrier system, such as Hydrological Solutions’ WIPP® System, to ensure your worksites will be protected in the months leading into Spring.
Stay Safe in the Extreme Cold
Winter storms and extremely cold temperatures pose serious threats to worker safety and project completion. Take steps now to ensure your workers will be safe and your projects protected. Get started with these 7 tips for winter storm preparation.
Contact Us to learn more about worker safety during the winter and how to protect your worksite from snowmelt flooding.