Preparing your worksite for severe weather

Summer in Queensland is traditionally storm and cyclone season, so it’s important to prepare your worksite by taking precautions that avoid the risk of injury and damage. However, we suggest using these measures year round as adverse weather events can happen any time.

Use our severe weather checklist below and follow our guidelines and recommendations for specific areas such as scaffolding, formwork, roofing materials and erosion & sediment control.

After any severe weather event, our disaster guidelines will guide you through repairing and rebuilding disaster-damaged buildings and cover off first priorities, key areas to inspect, what you must do before building work starts and repair work contracts.

Severe weather checklist

  • Remove any loose material and rubbish
  • Perform a site clean-up and empty rubbish skips
  • Ensure the scaffold contractor secures and braces any on-site scaffolding. After the storm, have them inspect the scaffolding to confirm whether it’s safe to use
  • Securely fix down roofing materials, such as fascia, gutters and flashings, and lash them down if they’re not installed
  • Brace or core-fill block masonry walls
  • Add bracing to framed walls
  • Delay material deliveries until after storms have passed
  • Put site drainage in place to legal points of discharge to avoid flooding
  • Close all windows and doors to prevent any internal damage.
  • Return to the worksite when it’s safe to do so and assess or repair any damage.

Scaffolding

  • The scaffolding supervisor should undertake a full pre-shutdown inspection of the scaffolding
  • Check scaffold foundations (e.g. screwjacks, baseplates and sole boards) are appropriate and ensuring that any potential stormwater run-off will be diverted away from the foundations
  • Re-tension screw-jacks where applicable
  • Ensure sufficient ties are in place to cater for strong winds
  • Check integrity of shadecloth and reattach or repair where damaged
  • Ensure access to incomplete scaffold has been prevented through barricading and signage
  • Ensure all planks on the uppermost lift are secured to the transoms with tie-wire (unless a captive plank system is incorporated in the design of the transoms)
  • Remove all loose materials from the scaffold platforms on the uppermost lift.

Ensure an emergency contact number has been supplied by the scaffold contractor in the event that an emergency inspection or repairs need to be undertaken during the break (e.g. after a severe storm).

Formwork

  • Remove all loose sheets of ply, fillet and penetration mesh from the deck area and platforms on climbing formwork systems
  • Strap all packs of formply in exposed areas
  • Chain all shutters on storage racks
  • Remove all loose materials from stripping areas
  • Ensure all platforms on perimeter screens have been cleaned of debris and loose materials
  • Ensure all mesh infill panels are in place between screens.

Roofing materials

Remove all loose sheets, guttering, sarking, ridge capping, safety mesh, etc. from the roof or secure to the structure (i.e. purlins, portal frames, rafters) with rope or strapping.

Other exposed or open areas – pay particular attention to all wind-exposed areas of the site, such as formwork decks, climbing formwork system platforms, podium levels, balconies, ground floors and any areas on a high-rise where windows have not been fitted and the openings are not covered by perimeter screens, scaffolding or similar. Remove or secure all loose materials in these areas.

Erosion & sediment control

  • Minimise Disturbance – keep any earthworks to a minimum and maintain as much grass, mulch, gravel or erosion control blanket as possible, especially towards the edges of the works
  • Stabilise Your Access – maintain access points and haulage roads with risk to minimise the amount of material tracked onto public roads
  • Install Sediment Fences – Install and regularly maintain silt fences on the downward slopes of the site.  On steeper slopes, several silt fences may be required to reduce the sediment flow
  • Divert Up-Slope Water – install diversion drains or speed bumps, which can direct any clean up-slope water away from the works, or water within the works, to other areas where access occurs regularly
  • Clean up Litter and Waste – regularly clean the work area to ensure that rubbish and other materials are not transported outside the works in the winds or water flow
  • Ensure Stockpiles of Material and Kept Behind Silt Fences – Keep stockpiles protected from being transported by wind and water by erecting silt fences or surrounding them by a bund and where required cover them in waterproof sheeting
  • Maintenance and monitoring – all appropriate erosion and sediment controls required to be put in place to minimise erosion and sediment control issues should be in place before the end of the day or before a rain event, and procedures must be put in place to ensure those controls are monitored and maintained.

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