Weather affects the construction industry in a number of ways and can impact worker safety, productivity and, most importantly, a project’s bottom line. Fortunately, advances in weather monitoring technology have allowed for the creation of innovative handheld devices that not only provide accurate weather information right where a contractor stands, but detect lightning strikes in real time as well. These advances have increased worker safety, improved productivity, and drive increased profitability.
Rain, sleet, snow, extreme heat, lightning. We’ve all experienced these conditions at one time or another—adverse weather that can have a negative impact on an outdoor construction project. Some conditions—like lightning—have an impact far beyond scheduling and can affect the safety of employees and subcontractors.
Regional weather data is measured by satellites and weather stations that are not able to accurately reveal weather information for an exact location. As a result, predicting the weather—albeit crucial to the success of outdoor projects—remains difficult to accomplish.
WEATHER CONDITIONS MONITORED
The state-of-the art INO Weather Pro™ weather monitor has innovative features that can help contractors make informed decisions about the weather conditions at the jobsite. The handheld device monitors important meteorological information, including temperature, atmospheric pressure, humidity, heat index, dew point, and altitude, in an easy-to-use, touchscreen device that fits in your pocket. Additionally, the device incorporates lightning detection and is the only product on the market today with all of these features in a single device.
The demands on the construction industry today are higher than ever. Crews often work around the clock and keeping them safe is always a priority. The INO Weather Pro can help contractors do just that. Laborers engage in a myriad of activities that put them at risk of injury and expose them to potentially serious hazards before dangerous weather conditions are even factored in. In fact, the OSHA refers to construction as a “high hazard industry.” As a result, jobsite safety is crucial and the ability to accurately and continuously monitor the weather is just one way contractors can ensure safety.
Safety incidents related to weather conditions should never pose a challenge to a contractor’s ability to complete a project on time, especially with the technology available today. All four seasons bring different weather patterns and varying conditions that not only impact machinery and building materials but worker safety and productivity as well. The INO Weather Pro provides accurate local weather parameters so your team has the information they need to stay safe and continue making progress on the job at hand. Time is money and having to pull a crew due to inclement weather is money lost. Thanks to the INO Weather Pro, managing weather conditions has never been easier.
One of the most dangerous weather hazards is also one of the most difficult to predict and is commonly overlooked by contractors—lightning. According to a fact sheet from OSHA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), “employers need awareness about lightning hazards to ensure their workers’ safety.” Lightning is a dangerous natural force that strikes about 25 million times per year in the United States and killed 38 people last year, including at least two construction workers. The INO Weather Pro’s state-of-the-art lightning detection is able to recognize cloud-to-ground lightning strikes as far as 40 miles away—well before hazardous weather poses worker safety issues on the jobsite.
The INO Weather Pro supplies accurate temperature readings precisely where the device is used, providing contractors with the ability to know whether the temperature is in the optimal range to pour concrete, cure an adhesive, or perform another task that depends on the degree or intensity of heat in the air. It isn’t just heat impacting construction projects, either. Cold weather can also negatively affect construction. When ice crystals form, concrete and bricks can both become weaker and the solvents and water in paint can freeze, which slows the curing process.
One recurrent reason contractors request additional time or money to allocate to a project is rainy or wet conditions. The INO Weather Pro’s humidity monitor allows contractors to check the amount of water vapor in the air and indicate the likelihood of precipitation, dew, or fog. On top of time-consuming delays, rain and moisture can cause structural framing to swell, morph and crack, metal structures to rust, soil to erode and affect curing time of concrete, sealing materials, and adhesives. Mitigating the negative effects that rain and moisture have on a construction site will provide numerous benefits.
With the spring and summer months rapidly approaching, staying cool becomes a major priority. The INO Weather Pro enables contractors to know the heat index and help keep crews safe in extreme heat. Extreme heat can cause health problems to workers and sunstroke and dehydration can affect reaction time and judgment. In addition to worker safety, heat can impact building materials like concrete, bricks, and paint.
The rugged, handheld INO Weather Pro has an easy-to-navigate color touchscreen display that provides weather information when it’s needed. Even better, the dashboard feature allows users to customize the device in order to give them quick access to the specific parameters they are interested in. Additionally, the device is self-contained, so no internet or cellular connection is needed to measure weather conditions. It runs on a USB charged Lithium battery and lasts up to 30 hours on a single charge. Moreover, the INO Weather Pro software is updatable and users can download all of the data stored on the device to a computer in a CSV file.
Inclement weather can’t be avoided or prevented, but advances in technology are allowing it to be predicted with a great deal of accuracy. If you know your jobsite could be at risk of any of these adverse weather conditions, take precautions to protect your equipment, materials, site, and workers. Using an effective weather monitor—like the INO Weather Pro—can increase safety and productivity while ultimately saving money. Look at the INO Weather Pro as another tool that helps contractors get the job done. ■
About the Author: Michael Lands, founder and president of INO Technologies, has more than 25 years of product development and marketing experience in a wide range of areas including surgical devices and analytical instruments. Lands is dedicated to bringing smart technology products to market that are easy to use and provide superior performance. For more information, visit www.inotechnologies.com.
Modern Contractor Solutions, May 2017
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