We’ve talked about construction project delays too often and mentioned how incompetence, poor crew management, and lack of communication can cause such. Fortunately, they can easily be prevented by correcting the process and with the use of the right technological tools like construction project management software. However, there are some things that are inevitable but hard to prevent. And this includes bad weather which can stop operations for days, weeks, or sometimes, even up to months.
Construction delays due to weather are obviously outside the control of contractors and other project teams, and they can have a serious impact on project management and delivery. Companies in the Midwest of America have a couple of months fighting the snow and freezing temps. Meanwhile, companies in California have to face heat-based issues and bushfires. The weather condition is different in every country so managing delays caused by it is a bit different.
Likewise, the responsible person in managing delays brought about by weather conditions varies from project to project and contract to contract. For this reason, contractors need to factor in possible weather disturbances in the region that can affect the project schedule and plan for these adverse weather events. Unfortunately, though, it is impossible for companies to build in margin and discrepancy for mega-storms and completely unseasonable weather events.
Planning for Construction Delays Due to Weather
The best that a construction firm can do to reduce the impacts of delays caused by extreme weather conditions is to plan ahead and schedule well. There should be Plan Bs and Plan Cs if possible. Weather is unpredictable but proper and accurate planning can help contractors optimize their plans and resources around the expected delays. This is easier done with a reliable construction scheduling software like Pro Crew Schedule. Should your Plan A fail in the event of weather disturbances, at least it’s easier to shift to your Plan B without losing track when you have a construction software to guide you.
If you can leverage and count on new technologies and data, then you may find that you can smooth over the weather delays and come out sunny no matter what the weather.
Managing Weather Delays Like a Pro
During the rain, it can still be possible to work on the site provided that it is complete with safety features intended for this kind of weather disturbance. But there are times when it’s also impossible to work like during heavy downpours, electrical storms, and hail. So don’t push for operations to continue otherwise, you’d see some accidents happening. Not only that. It can also require rework like when you are trying to rash cement pouring or installation of steel bar frames.
For marginal weather that allows for some outdoor work, make sure workers have the proper garb and equipment. Treaded, non-skid footwear, gloves, hoods and other outerwear permits work in some conditions.
Protect the construction site with non-skid materials and fill the floors with signage and lightings so your workers can watch their steps properly. Tie-down or remove materials that could become airborne or otherwise dangerous to workers in bad weather. Make sure a hand signal or other communications protocol is in place to compensate for reduced hearing and verbal communications that can come with poor weather.
Remember, accidents can cause delays, most especially when it involves a lot of your crew members so always prioritize safety at the site by making it ready for any kind of season.
2.Define Conditions in Contracts
As we said, the weather is something that you cannot control and your client definitely knows this too. But you have to make sure that you declare in your contract about possible delays caused by weather, most especially when you know that the location and the timing of the project will see some heavy rains or snow or freezing. This won’t entitle firms to payment during work stoppages due to weather, but it can protect firms from having to pay penalties or submit to wage cuts as a result.
3.Use Construction Software To Manage Schedule
As mentioned earlier, construction management software like Pro Crew Schedule can be used to quickly issue weather reports to clients, site workers, and other stakeholders.
Aside from smart planning, one of the main things construction firms can do is react to the problem and communicate the issue quickly. The issue with construction delays due to the weather is that the weather delay usually results in follow-on delays.
Communicating a delay or issue quickly enables every team and stakeholder to act accordingly and immediately. It may not prevent the delay but it can help the whole team decide on an alternative. For example, having parts of the project ordered from prefab manufacturers if the project is on a tight schedule. This way, the delay can be prevented and the project can go on as scheduled after the weather disturbance.
Pro Crew Schedule helps in this process. The real-time delivery of reports from the field to the office can help the contractor and the client assesses the potential delay and damage so they can decide on implementing the alternate plans. Being prepared won’t guarantee good weather, but it can guarantee safer worksites that can remain functional in all but the worst weather, saving time and money.