After your construction site has endured a hurricane and suffered minimal damage, you may be inclined to let loose a collective sigh of relief alongside your employees. Unfortunately, you’re not out of the woods yet. The aftermath of a hurricane presents its own unique challenges to contractors.
The Naples contractor lawyers at Cotney Construction Law know hurricanes. Last September, when Hurricane Irma battered Naples, Cotney Construction Law received an up-close and personal reminder of the destructive power of one of nature’s most fearsome storms. Part four of this four-part guide explains how to safely maneuver the dangerous conditions that arise in the wake of a hurricane. If you want to learn how to prepare for an incoming hurricane, read parts one, two, and three.
Use Caution After the Hurricane
Once the hurricane has passed and the local authorities have cleared the public to resume normal operations, it is time to assess the damage to your construction site and begin cleanup efforts. Tread carefully and survey every part of the construction site deliberately. Watch out for sharp pieces of glass, jagged debris, and uneven terrain as you navigate the construction site. Initially, it is safest to keep your distance from any tall structures that may have compromised stability in the wake of a hurricane.
Avoid Electrical Hazards
Electrical hazards are arguably the most dangerous aspect of returning to a construction site after a hurricane. Always avoid fallen power lines in the vicinity of your construction site. Fallen power lines are even more dangerous in the presence of standing water. Driving through standing water where power lines have fallen can lead to electrocution. If you believe your construction site has been compromised by electrical hazards, contact an electrician to assess the site before resuming work.
Employ a Salvage Plan
After you return to the construction site, it is time to perform any necessary clean up before construction resumes. Survey the construction site and decide which materials are salvageable. Materials and equipment that have sustained damage should be removed from the construction site immediately. Next, ensure that all fire protection systems are working, otherwise they will have to be replaced or restored before you can safely resume work. Remind employees that they should exercise extreme caution in the aftermath of a hurricane and to report any unusual circumstances to a supervisor.
As a contractor, it is your duty to ensure that all employees are safe to return to work after a hurricane strikes. A careful assessment of a construction site can reveal new and dangerous challenges. Cotney Construction Law understands the predicaments that arise after a hurricane strikes your construction site.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.