For construction workers a bit of rain can be more than just inconvenient, it can actually be disastrous. Although rain especially when it is not anticipated beforehand can be detrimental to productivity because it can make building materials and supplies mouldy, such as drywall or wood, it also can delay concrete delivery because humidity or wetness but it can also impact safety.
A significant danger to construction work is sudden heavy rains when the construction materials are not yet set firmly. This can cause complete collapse of walls and excavations etc. Flooding in areas where nearby rivers or streams can overflow the banks also is a danger to construction sites. If possible, workers should delay construction until after the rainy season to avoid unpredictable water flows that can deteriorate newly set concrete or other material or loosen soil and cause erosion.
In addition to setting work back, rain can cause other safety incidents such as damage electrical equipment and components or cause electrocution of workers or even result in landslides as it did on one site in The ACT.
The landslide in The ACT has resulted in a lot of inconvenience not just for construction workers but for the public as well, after a section of a busy road had to be closed because of fears of collapse.
One lane of a road in Canberra’s north was closed recently due to concerns that a landslip on a nearby construction site could cause part of the road to collapse.
The northbound lane of Eastern Valley Way between College Street and Cameron Avenue in Belconnen was closed to traffic after engineers decided it was at risk of possible collapse after a section of a dirt wall collapse on an adjacent construction site collapse after heavy rainfall made the wall unstable.
This post from Abc.net.au explains what happened, also watch the video below from ABC:
ACT Work Safety Commissioner Mark McCabe says the president of Engineers Australia advised of the danger.
“In his view the road was at risk of collapse or at least one lane was at risk of collapse,” he said.
“That advise is based on a visual assessment of photographs, not an on sight assessment.
“Nonetheless I’ve taken the precaution of advising roads act to close one lane of Eastern Valley Way.
“Because that wall is right beside the road it led opinion to have the real potential to undermine the road and lead to the collapse of the road as well.”
WorkSafe ACT is also concerned a tower crane on the site could be de-stabalised.
On Monday the project manager said there was no risk of the crane falling over and it would get an independent engineer to assess the site.
On Wednesday the construction union will start looking at what needs to be done before work can resume on the construction site and whether the road is safe to reopen.
Watch this video that explains