In addition to daytime operations, some construction companies burn the midnight oil to expedite project phases for time-crunched clients. By establishing a construction night work plan and following best practices, crews stay safe while working in less distracting conditions.
Two main reasons construction crews operate at night are to take advantage of cooler temperatures during hot seasons and work when the general public is less active. Both often result in increased productivity and less disruption.
When working construction at night, use proper lighting and visibility, prevent noise and vibration and make sure workers get proper rest.
Use proper lighting for best visibility
It’s worth noting that more planning goes into night work due to the absence of light. Contractors need to figure out the best locations for lighting and the best lighting sources to use. When setting up lighting, be sure to avoid aiming lights at private property, drivers or bystanders.
It’s also important to be aware that with the presence of artificial light comes the issue of dust, which is a bigger issue on job sites at night because it’s more visible from the artificial lighting accentuating the floating particles. One way to keep dust out of the air is by using water trucks to dampen the ground. This option will also improve the air quality of your site.
Safety is a top priority, so be sure to include lighting and visibility factors in your initial project risk assessment. To learn more about how to properly light a job site, contact a Border States lighting professional near you.
Prevent noise and vibration when possible
As for excessive noise and vibration, it goes without saying that you want to be as courteous as possible to anyone around you when it comes to sounds and movement. There might be people sleeping or working in a nearby area, or perhaps your movements could affect the structural integrity of a neighboring building or the contents inside, so being subtle according to your surroundings is key.
The following activities are among the loudest parts of construction work:
- Back-up alarms
- Slamming tailgates
- Operating crushers
- Idling engines for heavy equipment
- Using jackhammers
- Running diesel engines
Cut down noise by using barriers and minimizing these activities when possible.
Make sure workers get proper rest
Our bodies are not programmed to be awake at night, so fatigue is often a concern for night construction crews. Tiredness can affect a crew member’s ability to judge a situation well on the job site, so it’s important to encourage employees to get good sleep.
Additionally, it’s important for supervisors to check on workers throughout their night shift. If an employee is starting to show signs of exhaustion, it might be worth providing them with extra rest days or a schedule change. If one of your workers hits a wall, let them take a break.
Fatigue is often exacerbated due to a lack of light. Again, partnering with the right lighting professionals goes a long way. Insufficient lighting can impede on a worker’s vision, requiring a greater level of concentration to focus.
Proper nutrition is beneficial for night work, as well. By occasionally providing your crew with fruit, protein and vitamin D, you’ll help them stay alert. Additionally, the gesture can serve as a morale-booster.
Takeaways for your construction night work plan
If you’re looking to do construction work at night, take the proper precautions. Invest in quality lighting, reduce noise and vibration and make sure workers get proper rest.