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Whether planned or unplanned, a construction shutdown can have a significant impact on a project’s potential for loss. The following abbreviated guidelines may assist in mitigating exposures associated with projects that have been suspended, at any stage of construction, for a designated or unknown period of time. Minimizing risks before and during work suspension, especially through a check list approach, may lessen the impacts of complex project execution issues when re-starting construction. The information below is not meant to be a complete list but should assist you as you conduct your risk assessment and take necessary site specific actions moving forward in your site control plan.
Access the full guidelines in the RCM&D download – Construction Site Shutdown
Conducting a risk assessment is the critical first step to prepare for a shutdown. The risk assessment helps determine potential exposures to loss and serves as the foundation of your site control plan.
Pre-Shutdown Inspection – The assessment should involve a documented inspection to identify conditions that could result in loss during the shutdown. Be sure to consider different types of losses, including bodily injury, property damage and construction defects. Take photos and/or videos, and keep detailed notes documenting the pre-shutdown condition of the job site.
Site Access & Security – Determine the extent of activity that will need to take place during the shutdown. If work will continue intermittently, create a list of personnel authorized to access the site. If no work will be performed during the shutdown, the assessment should provide an estimated site closure and reopening time frame.
- Use and maintenance of surveillance systems
- Site inspection frequency and responsibility
- Coordination between trades
- Emergency communications
- Location-specific exposures (weather, theft/vandalism, accessibility to emergency responders)
- Anticipated shutdown and reopening procedures.
SITE CONTROL PLAN
Once the risk assessment is complete, develop and implement a written site control plan. The plan should address all areas of concern identified in the risk assessment, such as the examples provided below.
Materials & Equipment – Reduce or eliminate material inventory and make alternative storage arrangements. Redirect or cancel incoming deliveries. Materials left on-site should be properly protected, inventoried and cataloged. Use a protective film or wrap over materials stored outdoors to minimize contact with moisture. Protect immovable materials with a secured tarpaulin cover.
Implement enhanced controls when storing critical equipment like switchgear or materials with a long lead time. Secure tools and equipment in locked containers or sheds. Keep high-value commodities out of view. Coordinate with subcontractors to ensure that nonessential tools and equipment are removed from the project, if possible.
Once the site reopens, inspect all materials and equipment prior to use. Dry out or replace materials exposed to moisture. Be sure to conduct a thorough inspection of systems installed prior to the shutdown to verify they are in good condition and operational. Remove or repair damaged materials, as needed.
Follow Specific Guidance shared in the RCM&D Construction Site Shutdown document for the following:
- Fire Prevention
- Equipment Stability & Ground Conditions
- Water & Weather Intrusion
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