In the midst of a heavy storm or aftermath of a hurricane, flooding presents a number of dangers to consider. One major problem is the adverse effects of pollution on floodwater. From infectious diseases to toxic fumes, your health is put at risk. With the many dangers of flood water, it’s important for you to think twice before wading through any flooded areas.
How is Flooding Unsafe?
Floodwater picks up an impressive collection of everything it touches as it spreads. Trash, oil, insects, snakes, biological waste, and more are just a handful of the hidden hazards just below the surface. Here are a few other ways floodwater can put you in danger:
- Infection of open wounds
- Toxic spread of chemicals
- Increase of ants and poisonous insects
- Force of rushing water
1) Infection of Open Wounds
Floods often carry waste from sewers or farms, filling the water with all sorts of nasty bacteria. Even floodwaters that haven’t picked up biohazards can contain potentially dangerous bacteria, especially legionella, which can give you a potentially deadly strain of pneumonia. Any of these bacteria-ridden hazards could infect an open wound, even a tiny cut, if you walk into floodwaters. Don’t take that risk.
2) Toxic Spread of Chemicals
Plenty of vehicles leak oil or other engine fluids on a regular basis. Floodwaters pick up that residue and spread it everywhere. A damaged gas station leaking fuel only contributes to this contamination. You never know what chemicals standing water picked up on its way to settle near you–play it safe and don’t let yourself get contaminated.
Pro Tip: Flooding brings dangerous aquatic creatures–especially snakes–uncomfortably close to you. Avoid entering standing water to keep yourself safe.
3) Increase of Ants and Poisonous Insects
You’re probably familiar with the fascinating but terrifying way fire ants survive floods: they group up into a floating mass of ants that drifts on the floodwaters for days or weeks until they reach something they can climb onto. It goes without saying that these islands of ants are extremely dangerous if they come in contact with humans. From a distance, these “rafts” can look like debris, making it difficult to know how much danger you’re in. The best strategy is to avoid the water altogether and stay away from debris. However, if you do find yourself covered in fire ants after accidentally touching a mound, brush them off as quickly as you can. Don’t jump in the water to wash them off–they can survive for a long time without drowning.
A less terrifying but also dangerous hazard is the increased presence of mosquitoes. Mosquitoes breed in water, and as floodwaters spread, their breeding grounds become massive and allow many more than normal to appear. Widespread floods could expose you to mosquitoes that carry dangerous diseases, and treatment can be hard to find following a severe storm. Keep insect spray close by and try to wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants to give the mosquitoes fewer places to bite.
4) Force of Rushing Water
According to NOAA, a mere six inches of rushing water can knock an adult down and 1-2 feet of water can stall and sweep away most cars. Don’t let the site of shallow water lull you into a false sense of security. Currents are deadly. Keep children out of the water and never walk in floodwaters yourself, even if they look shallow enough to be safe.
Limit Your Exposure to Floodwater
When we’re faced with flash floods or major storms, it can be difficult to stay healthy during the cleanup process. Don’t forget to wash your hands with antibacterial soap or wear protective clothing to ensure your safety. Additionally, make sure you have a reliable way to protect against flooding so that you can minimize your risk of illness or injury.
Connect with our flood protection experts for the best solution to keep hazardous water away from your property.
Dewatering your construction site is faster and easier than expected when using the Aqua-Barrier water-filled cofferdams. Aqua-Barriers use less equipment and manpower to install than conventional cofferdam methods, saving you time and money on your next probject!
As a construction professional, you already recognize the importance of dewatering a construction site for your own safety as well as for your workers’ safety. But dewatering is a complex process. Do you know what to do before you even get started and how to handle potential dangers during the process? Let’s look at these important points for your next project.
Know the Local Regulations
Some regions enforce strict regulations on construction waste or conduct, while others are more relaxed. Never assume you know the local rules regarding what you can and cannot do. It never hurts to double-check local guidelines and make sure you’re in full legal compliance. Save yourself some fines later.
Watch the Landscape
As you begin the dewatering process, keep an eye on the surrounding environment. Is the moving water causing rapid erosion? Is it raining and thus slowing down the whole process? If you notice anything that may be hindering your dewatering efforts, discontinue the job and wait for conditions to improve. A quick job is not worth the potentially huge safety risk.
Pro Tip: When it’s time to empty your Aqua-Barrier, simply drain the water back into the area it came from. No post-construction restoration is needed!
Diligent Dewatering Methods
Dewatering is a relatively straightforward process. However, it’s not a job to be approached lightly. You should always research your obligations as a construction supervisor and survey your local environment before work begins. Don’t let yourself get in legal trouble or put your worksite in danger.
Connect with us to learn more about how to safely dewater your construction site.
Many construction projects require dewatering in order to reach the areas that need repairs, and building a boat ramp is certainly no exception. Boat ramp construction carries with it the added risk of working literally in a large body of water, with just a small area dewatered and portioned out for the construction work. With this in mind, safety becomes an absolute priority for yourself and your coworkers.
Creating a Safe Work Environment
As you work to keep your final product up to a high standard of safety for future users, make sure to pay the same close attention to your employees and your own safety. Keep these essential safety tips in mind as you work:
- Maintain your equipment
- Train your employees thoroughly
- Use a quality dewatering method
- Keep the worksite clean and safe
1) Maintain Your Equipment
An unfortunately high percentage of workplace accidents are caused by faulty equipment. The best way to combat this problem is through simple equipment maintenance. Keep an eye on your machines and replace any faulty parts immediately. If your inflatable cofferdam springs a leak, have it patched as soon as possible. Keep everything in perfect working order to prevent an accident.
2) Train Your Employees Thoroughly
Of course, even brand new equipment isn’t any good if your employees don’t know how to safely use it. On top of that, any system updates or new additions to your equipment set confuse even experienced construction workers. What’s the best solution? A near-constant training plan. Anytime your plan or equipment set changes, keep your employees fully informed and knowledgeable on how to handle everything.
Pro Tip: Even if nothing has changed, have your employees periodically take a test to demonstrate they still know how to handle all your construction equipment. Forgetting a critical piece of knowledge could lead to disaster.
3) Use a Quality Dewatering Method
Building a boat ramp requires a significant amount of dewatering to be done before work can truly begin. To both speed the process along and ensure your crew’s safety once the water has been removed, use a high-quality dewatering method such as the Aqua-Barrier. Drain the water from your worksite and use an inflatable tube to hold it all back!
4) Keep the Worksite Clean and Safe
Finally, keep the work site clear of debris. Left unattended, trash and other hazardous substances can prove to be tripping hazards or, worse, damaging to your sensitive construction equipment. You can avoid this hazard by making sure the construction site is clear at the end of every shift and making sure any and all debris is removed quickly.
Promote Safety During Your Construction Projects
Building a boat ramp already comes with a long list of important factors to consider, including the types and sizes of boats that will use the ramp, their turning radius, the water depth, and much more. Of course, the safety of the users is paramount. But long before the ramp is complete, make sure to give consideration to keeping yourself and your construction crew safe during the building process.
Connect with us to learn more about boat ramp construction safety and workplace safety in general for your future projects.
A partially submerged construction site comes with a few surprise challenges you wouldn’t encounter in a more conventional construction setting. Whether you’re concerned with dewatering or making sure your worksite is visible to others, there are several important factors to consider. Fortunately, the Aqua-Barrier comes equipped with multiple safety features to make sure your workspace is safe and watertight.
An Aqua-Barrier is designed for more than just lower costs and environmental friendliness. For many dewatering projects, the choice to use an inflatable cofferdam is also one of the best decisions regarding workplace safety you could make. Let’s look at a few key features that make the Aqua-Barrier a remarkably safe choice for a safe construction project.
Reflective Tape (Available for Purchases Only)
Anyone who enjoys biking or jogging at night knows the importance of having reflective clothing or accessories to make sure drivers can see you. Likewise, a construction site active after dark needs to be visible for both safety’s sake and to make sure that the already-completed work isn’t damaged. If your construction site is surrounded by an Aqua-Barrier, you have an excellent option for nighttime visibility: reflective tape, available for purchased inflatable cofferdams. This highly reflective accessory will ensure that anyone passing by can see the edge of your construction site and know where to avoid.
The Aqua-Barrier’s durable material will rarely rip or tear, but when it does, you’ll need repairs pretty quickly. Fortunately, the manufacturer can easily make your inflatable cofferdam as good as new. In the meantime, use a specially designed patch to seal up any tears and keep using your Aqua-Barrier until you can have full repairs completed.
Simple Connections for a Watertight Seal
For large-scale construction projects, you may end up needing more than one Aqua-Barrier to completely enclose your worksite. Fortunately, while there’s no way to truly link multiple cofferdams together, you can do the next best thing by stacking the ends. The durable material of an inflatable cofferdam creates a watertight seal that guarantees your safety as you continue working. Keep water and debris outside your construction zone with this dependable seal.
Pro Tip: The seal works best if your Aqua-Barrier is installed correctly. Make sure you know the right ways to unroll and inflate your cofferdam.
An Excellent Construction Choice
For many construction projects, the multiple safety features and design offered by the Aqua-Barrier provide a huge advantage. Whether your worksite needs heightened visibility to reduce accidents, or whether you’re just concerned that water might get back in, an inflatable cofferdam will keep you confident and secure.
Connect with us to learn more about safely using your Aqua-Barrier.
Before you can start using your Aqua-Barrier inflatable cofferdam, you should take the time to understand the features and optional accessories that come with it. Most of these features will be used very often in construction or flood prevention efforts.
Your Aqua-Barrier comes pre-equipped with multiple important features necessary for everyday use. For more specialized work, you can choose to purchase a couple of additional accessories to make your job easier. Whichever choice you ultimately go with, it never hurts to review your blueprints and keep track of your Aqua-Barrier’s accessories.
Aqua-Barriers are equipped with 4-inch fill ports located on the top of the Aqua-Barriers close to each end for easy access. Heavy-duty water pumps can fill the cofferdam from the top in just a few hours, allowing you to begin using the cofferdam immediately.
Each Aqua-Barrier is equipped with multiple drain ports for quick removal. Drain ports are located on each side and each end to make emptying the Aqua-Barriers a quick and easy process.
Pipe loops are located on each end to facilitate the installation and removal of the Aqua-Barrier cofferdams. They provide a way for your lifting equipment, such as track hoes and cranes, to hold on the Aqua-Barrier during placement, thus using less manpower.
Pro Tip: The EZRoller makes packing up your Aqua-Barrier the simplest part of your workday! Learn more about the EZRoller on its dedicated product page.
Reflective Tape (An Option Available on Purchases Only)
While reflective tape is an optional accessory that comes with an additional cost, it could be a worthwhile choice depending on your exact circumstances. For example, a nighttime construction project in the water has to make itself visible to traffic such as boats. While the bright lights at a construction site make the overall location obvious, reflective tape will define a clear barrier for further safety.
Stay Familiar with Your Aqua-Barrier
Each Aqua-Barrier comes equipped with most of the necessary features you’ll need for common applications. While most of the functions are straightforward, it never hurts to remind yourself where everything is. If you need a further reminder, check out the product specifications for more details.
Connect with us to learn more about the Aqua-Barrier’s accessories.
2019 has rolled in and what better time to set some new goals for the new year? If you run a construction company, setting a goal for a safer year should be a top priority.
Your Construction Safety Goals
According to OSHA, construction is a dangerous industry. In fact, they found that 5,190 construction workers were killed on the job in 2016. This can be changed by setting construction safety goals for 2019 and making sure that you adopt these three objectives for your company in the new year.
Create a Culture of Safety
One of the top ways to achieve construction safety at your company is to create a culture of safety. Safety trickles down from the top, so leaders need to create a culture of safety as top priority. Everyone from the newest recruit through the CEO needs to have a safety-first mindset.
ProTip: To create a culture of safety, be sure to constantly communicate the importance and need for safety and make sure safety measures are always being implemented and followed.
Ongoing Safety Training
To help enforce a company culture of safety, it is imperative that your construction company offers and requires ongoing safety training. By holding ongoing training classes, safe habits can be reinforced and new safety techniques and procedures can be learned.
Safer Tools for the Job
Workers should always be wearing their personal protective equipment (PPE), such as heavy steel-toed boots, eye protection, gloves, hard hats, or whatever else is needed to keep workers safe from harm. Along with the required use of PPE, having the best tools for the job also helps cut down on injury and makes the worksite safer. 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.
Staying Safe in 2019
By making sure you set these above intentions for your construction company this year, and by using the best equipment for the project (and used correctly), you can help reduce workplace risks and make everyone’s job safer. You owe it to your valued employees to do all you can to protect them on the job. By setting a construction safety goal in 2019, you can be sure to create a safe place for them to work.
Contact us to learn more ways you can set construction safety goals for 2019.