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Summer construction projects present unique challenges for schools, requiring diligent planning and risk management to ensure safety and security. With limited onsite staff during the summer months, appointing a dedicated staff representative or liaison for each construction project becomes essential. This article outlines key strategies to manage risk effectively during summer construction, focusing on contractor management, facility security, and weather considerations.

Contractors


Managing contractors is a critical aspect of ensuring a safe construction environment.

  • Background checks: Conduct thorough background checks on all contractors and subcontractors who might have access to students. This step helps in maintaining a secure environment and preventing potential security breaches.
  • Emergency contacts: Maintain a comprehensive list of emergency contacts, including contractors and school representatives. Ensure everyone on site knows who to contact in case of an emergency.
  • Adequate liability insurance: Verify that contractors have adequate liability insurance coverage. Ensure that the coverage limits meet or exceed the potential exposure to protect the school from financial liabilities in case of accidents or damage.

Facility Security


Effective facility security measures are vital to prevent unauthorized access and protect both the construction site and the school premises.

  • Fenced area: Secure the construction site with a robust fence to prevent unauthorized entry. Construction sites can be attractive targets for vandalism and curious students during the summer.
  • Restricted access: Secure interior construction areas to prevent access by staff and students. Implement strict protocols and consequences for unauthorized entry to maintain safety.
  • Exterior lighting and cameras: Ensure exterior lighting and security cameras are operational and strategically placed to monitor the construction site and surrounding areas effectively.
  • Emergency access: Maintain clear and unobstructed pathways for emergency vehicles to access the job site quickly in case of an emergency.
  • Security patrols: Implement regular security patrols, especially during nights and weekends, to deter vandalism and unauthorized access.
  • Underground utilities: Clearly mark all underground utilities before beginning the construction project. This precaution helps avoid unexpected outages and ensures the safety of workers and school property.

Weather

 

Managing weather-related risks is crucial for the safety and well-being of construction workers.

  • Hydration and shade: Provide ample water and shaded areas for everyone on the job site. Encourage regular breaks to prevent heat-related illnesses.
  • Erosion control: After heavy rains, inspect the construction site for erosion control within 24 hours following ½ inch of rainfall. Promptly address any erosion issues to prevent further damage and ensure site stability.
  • Weather monitoring: Continuously monitor weather conditions and have a plan in place to respond to severe weather events, such as thunderstorms or heatwaves. Ensure all workers are aware of safety protocols during adverse weather conditions.

Effectively managing risk during summer construction projects is essential for the safety and success of the school’s infrastructure improvements. By appointing a dedicated staff representative, ensuring robust contractor management, implementing stringent facility security measures, and addressing weather-related risks, schools can create a safe and secure construction environment. These proactive steps not only protect the school community but also ensure that construction projects are completed efficiently and without incident. Let’s commit to these best practices to ensure a successful and safe summer construction season.

For more ways to keep your school safe, contact INSURICA today.

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