You may have heard never having a construction accident is difficult. It’s true.
Think of all the different scenarios that might arise.
The presence of hazardous materials, ineffective security, and buildings with lack of structural integrity. With constant change of environment at a construction site, you have a unique challenge on your hands.
This article will help you avoid the 5 most substantial mistakes on your construction site. Use this like a checklist to ensure that you avoid the worst case scenarios.
When you prevent the worst from happening, you will gain confidence to create your best work.
Here are the 5 substantial mistakes to avoid.
5 Substantial Mistakes to Avoid on Your Construction Site
Mistake #1: Poor Fire Safety
Poor fire safety can be one of the most devastating mistakes possible.
Between 2010 and 2014 The National Fire Protection Association estimated over $300 million dollars worth of property damage annually.
What is Poor Fire Safety?
● Improper Cutting, Welding, and Grinding.
○ Many construction fires are caused by the improper use of torches for cutting, soldering, roof work, blazing and welding.
○ You should develop and enforce a formal, written, hot-work permit system based on NFPA 241, Standard for Safeguarding Construction, Alteration, and Demolition Operations.
○ Careless smoking is a leading cause of fires. To reduce the chance of fire, smoking should be prohibited inside any building. Outside in the vicinity of combustible materials and fuel storage, and strictly enforced.
○ ”No Smoking” signs should be posted at all points of entry. If smoking is allowed, it should only be permitted in designated areas.
● Temporary Heating Equipment.
○ Depending on weather conditions, you may use temporary heat (propane, kerosene or electric) on job sites.
○ If you do not keep equipment clear of combustibles, or set it up incorrectly, it can cause a fire.
○ You should ensure all heating equipment is listed and approved for its intended use, placing temporary heaters only on non-combustible flooring or platforms and keeping areas around space heaters clear of combustibles.
● Temporary Electrical Wiring and Lighting.
○ Many fires are started by improperly installed or maintained temporary electrical systems.
○ You should install temporary electrical wiring and equipment for light or power purposes in accordance with the requirements of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 70® National Electrical Code and have it inspected regularly by a qualified electrician.
● Fire Suppression Systems
○ You may not have permanent fire suppression systems in place or ones that are operational on construction sites. It is critical that you install fire protection systems early and plan to provide temporary protection during the course of the project.
● Fire Extinguishers
○ Fire extinguishers can be your go to for fighting a fire at a construction site. You should mount fire extinguishers in easily accessible places such as each floor near a usable stairway. All staff should be trained in their use.
○ You should be sure your site is organized with no waste material that may contribute to a fire hazard. Remove waste material from buildings and nearby areas daily.
Mistake #2: Neglecting The Potential for Water Damage
Water, whether it is from a pipe leak, weather event, or act of vandalism, is the most common cause of damage on building construction projects.
Because it’s so important, you should identify all the possible sources of water on a job site, and develop a water damage prevention plan.
How Can You Avoid Catastrophic Water Damage?
○ The best way you can avoid water damage is to prevent unwanted water from entering the building. Potential sources of unwanted water include temporary roofs, balconies, domestic water service, HVAC and fire suppression piping systems.
● Early Detection
○ By detecting uncontrolled water inside a building you can limit the amount of damage should a leak occur. In addition to instructing your workers to report potential leaks to site management, electronic flow/leak detection systems, or security guard services can aid in early detection and response.
Mistake #3: Lack Of Security
Your Construction can be a prime target for theft, vandalism and other unauthorized entry. This can lead to damage to work in progress, equipment, and materials on the site.
You can address this by understanding the potential for crime (theft, burglary, arson and vandalism) in the area. Then putting a crime prevention plan in place.
How Do You Secure a Site?
● Physical Barriers
○ Your main defense for a construction site are physical barriers to prevent trespassers from entering the site. This can include fencing, locked gates, interior and exterior lighting, and warning signs.
● Surveillance Systems.
○ Surveillance systems, can help to ward off intruders and prevent losses. You can also add other types of sensors and alarms to many systems such as temperature, water flow, glass break, and electrical service.
○ Surveillance systems can also be in your favor after a crime. Should you need to file an insurance claim, evidence of the crime can substantially ease the filing process.
● Security Guard
○ A qualified and insured security guard should be used be on construction sites to provide an on-site presence during non-working hours. An effective security guard should document periodic rounds of your site, monitor all access points, and act with clear notification procedures to local authorities and site management.
Mistake #4: Poor Defect Exposure
Lets face it, with new technologies, changing standards and a shortage of skilled labor, your potential risk for construction defect exposure is higher than ever.
How Do You Manage Your Construction Defect Risk?
● Know Your Codes
○ Keep up with your current codes, standards, advisories, and practices.
○ Know your products capabilities, limitations, compatibility, and warranties.
○ Pre-qualify the subcontractors you hire to ensure you receive quality work.
● Transfer Risk
○ Rely on your legal team to ensure contracts protect you and limit your obligations.
● Document Everything
○ Build a solid record of your construction process to help protect yourself against claims of workmanship.
Mistake #5: Improper Insurance Coverage
Having the wrong insurance coverage for your work can be catastrophic should you come to need it. It is critical for you to have the proper coverage in order to protect yourself and your company.
The next step to ensuring you have the proper coverage is calling your local Sacramento insurance agents for a quote at 916-488-4426.
Or Click the Button Below For a Quote Online.
We at Cliff Cottam have provided insurance services for individuals and business clients since 2004. We value you as our customer and will not settle for anything less than superior service.
We are an independent agency, which means that we represent numerous insurance companies such as Mercury, Progressive, and Safeco. Because we can select from different providers, our agents can find the best insurance policies at competitive rates, and are able to tailor to your specific needs.
Sources: Construction Risk Construction Site Protection