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It’s Getting Windy Out Here

26 November 2018

Strong winds coincide with winter. When it gets cold, it gets windy. When it gets windy, it gets dangerous. The Met Office has released a yellow weather warning throughout the UK for strong winds, with some parts facing strong gusts of 60-70 mph. Across the Shetland area, gusts of 70-75 mph are expected.

The Met Office has advised yellow weather warnings for the following places:

  • Central, Tayside & Fife
  • Dumfries, Galloway, Lothian & Borders
  • North West England
  • Orkney & Shetland
  • South West England
  • West Midlands
  • Yorkshire & Humber

High winds present dangers across a construction site, but mostly to those working at height. It is recommended that labourers do not work at height when speeds are greater than 23 mph.

We advise you check any scaffolding is secure and adequately tied. If further support is required, ring our consultants who can get this resolved before Wednesday.

Other factors to consider is to tie down boards and ensuring that sheeting/netting is adequately secured or removed. This would be the same for other loose materials – either secure or remove from site to ensure they’re not a hazard.

Wind can create an uplift force, the same way an airplane wing creates lift. Wind moving across the deck of a scaffold could potentially result in the plank being blown off, if they are not secured. Once the winds have calmed, the scaffolding would need to be inspected before brought back into use.

A scaffold should be inspected every time it is exposed to adverse weather conditions, as well as on a weekly basis until it is removed.

It is essential that work is stopped in places with a risk of falling objects or collapse of temporary structures as this presents a grave danger to labourers and the public. If negligence is found to be the cause of injury to the public due to high winds blowing things off scaffolding, then a construction company would be liable for such injuries.

Contact PAL Hire if you require further safety precautions to protect your construction site during the strong winds.

For more information relating to scaffold safety, you can access the HSE’s scaffold checklist here.