Woking on a construction site can be hazardous at the best of times, so it is vital that steps are taken to increase safety and protection for times that workers are working at night. Construction often has to be carried out after dark whether this is due to less traffic and interference with the public or cooler temperatures, so what steps can be taken to improve working conditions and protect workers?
Lighting is obviously a major area to consider when working after dark as you need to make sure that workers can easily see what they are doing and where they are going. Not only this, but bright industrial LED lighting could also help to prevent fatigue which can be an issue with nightshifts. For outdoor lighting, balloon lighting, lighting columns or floodlights are options but you will need to be careful not to affect the surrounding areas and cause disruption, so great control is needed. For indoor lights, fixed lighting points supplemented by spotlights, lamps, LED ribbons etc will suffice.
PPE is always important on a construction site, but particularly during the night when visibility will be lower. High-visibility clothing with a fluorescent material for daytime visibility and a retroreflective material to ensure nighttime visibility will be key, but you can also increase nighttime safety with head torches along with all the regular PPE for safe working. Sturdy footwear is also important as it can be harder for people to see where they are going.
It is also important to carry out a risk assessment for evening work so that the main hazards and threats can be identified. It is also important to think about the quality and size of reception and break facilities taking into account departure and arrival times, maintenance of hygiene rooms, toilets and other areas. This can all help to prevent fatigue, which can be a major issue with night work and lead to mistakes and injuries.
Another important aspect to consider of night work on a construction site is noise as you will obviously want to prevent excessive noise and vibration to be courteous to the public. Keeping usage of noisy machinery to a minimum and at the most social hours is important and you should also notify those in the surrounding area of your work schedule.
Working at night is often the best and most logical way for construction to take place as it can lead to minimal disruption and will be cooler in the warmer months, but it can certainly make it much harder to plan with safety being one key aspect. The above information should help you to improve nighttime working conditions for your team so that the work can be completed safely and with confidence.