With the Bureau of Meteorology predicting November to January rainfall is likely to be above average for eastern Australia, the time is approaching for construction sites across Queensland to properly plan their summer lockdowns.
That means organising a few common-sense safety measures to limit risks to public safety over the break and prepare for summer storms and cyclones and the flooding they can bring.
Holes in the ground, such as trenches and swimming pools currently under construction, need special attention and all loose materials should be secured so they cannot blow away in a storm.
Brace or secure fencing and partially constructed building elements so they can’t be blown over, as well as securing or removing roofing sheets and other loose materials that have the potential to turn into missiles in strong winds. Backfilling excavations or covering them will minimise water hazards.
Be vigilant about securing your site as people may try to enter while it’s unattended – particularly kids if the site is close to playgrounds, sports ovals or other public areas. Children find a house at the frame stage a very exciting prospect because they can climb on it. And while it is exciting seeing a new house being built and watching a vacant block being transformed into someone’s dream family home, the dangers to unauthorised people accessing the site are very serious. Make sure your site is securely fenced and gates are locked before you leave.
Good housekeeping isn’t just for Christmas though - before you start any construction, you should consider how you will store building materials and tools onsite. You need to designate storage areas that do not encroach on work areas, internal pathways, or public footpaths, and have a system to ensure storage remains adequate as construction progresses. You will also need to develop a system to manage waste so that skip bins are emptied before they’re overfilled.