by New NY Bridge
While many local residents were shoveling their driveways following last week’s snowfall, Tappan Zee Constructors (TZC) was faced with clearing a much larger path – the 3.1-mile project site. Thanks to preemptive measures, the snow was handled swiftly and safely, allowing for work to continue the next day.
Specialized crews were dispatched to prevent ice buildup at key access points, including harbors and active works zones. This reduced slipping hazards, which are a leading cause of accidents on many construction sites, particularly in the winter months. Crew members also plowed snow on the new roadway to create access for work on the approaches and main span.
Since the start of permanent construction in 2013, TZC has adhered to a strict set of weather-related safety plans and protocols. This “Take Zero Chances” motto has helped the New NY Bridge project maintain its status as one of the safest construction projects in the country. Overall, the project has a total recordable incident rate well under the national average for a job of this size and scope.
These winter weather protection efforts are primarily focused on keeping personnel working on the twin-span crossing dry, warm and safe. Weather-related exposure is of particular concern for TZC given the project’s location on the Hudson River. Certain team members, such as tugboat deckhands, are given specialized equipment such as floatation suits and warmer gear to ensure their safety. This proves to be essential for these workers, who must secure large construction barges and vessels in the event of an oncoming storm or blizzard.
Harsh winter conditions can include sub-zero cold snaps, whiteouts and high-velocity winds which can appear without notice, even with sophisticated forecasting. To ensure worker safety in these unpredictable conditions, TZC prepared numerous safe-haven locations on the project site. Workers can use these areas for immediate protection from the elements, should a sudden weather event occur.
TZC constantly monitors both local and regional weather to anticipate threatening conditions, which often require the team to secure and check all moorings and equipment. When a more severe event is predicted, such as a hurricane, TZC will even move most of the project’s vessels and equipment offsite, to more securely protected harbors on the Hudson.
This article was originally published on the New NY Bridge website.