4 Must-Know Safety Tips for Nighttime Construction

Date Posted:25 April 2016 

Any construction project has risks involved, but nighttime construction projects present unique challenges. With the lack of lighting, you need to make sure all the workers and equipment are visible by passersby. You also need to help your workers avoid nighttime fatigue.

Here are a few tips to ensure you have a smooth nighttime project.

1. Integrate Powerful Lighting

Workers must be able to see everything in their path to avoid accidents and mistakes. The higher the precision a task requires, the higher level of lighting you'll need. For long-term projects, some construction managers choose to install semi-permanent high-mast lighting systems. For shorter term projects, you can integrate portable lighting towers and other portable lights.

When you look for portable lights, rechargeable LED work lights are your best bet. Since the lights are rechargeable, you don't have to worry about always working next to a power source. LED work lights contain lithium-ion batteries that can last more than nine hours on one charge. LED lights are also safer than traditional work lights because they are cool to the touch. Workers risk burning themselves by accidentally touching traditional work lights, but that's not an issue with LED lights.

Adequate lighting is important to help workers easily perform their tasks. But as you place these powerful lights on your worksite, pay attention to how much light is reflected. Make sure the reflected light doesn't cause an undesirable amount of glare for approaching drivers. You can help approaching drivers see less glare by:

  • Increasing the height of the lighting equipment
  • Placing lighting ahead of the worksite
  • Increasing background lighting

Decreasing glare can help prevent accident and injury.

2. Supply Safety Clothing

Now that your worksite is well-lit, you need to make sure your workers can be seen by passing traffic. Bright-colored clothing is a great choice for daytime work, but it's not sufficient for nighttime projects. Workers need to wear reflective clothing, reflective tape, and flashing lights. When workers wear reflective clothing, drivers will see them five times faster than they would otherwise.

You should also place reflective devices on your equipment to protect it from damage.

3. Increase Use of Signs and Cones

Signs and cones are important for any construction project, but nighttime projects require more than usual. Place large, well-lit signs far in advance of the worksite to alert drivers of the upcoming construction area. Also, set down construction cones close together so drivers run no risk of entering the worksite.

4. Plan to Curb Worker Fatigue

A final important consideration is your workers' health. Working at night may tire workers, especially those who are not accustomed to a nighttime schedule. Keep in mind that even if the workers get enough sleep before working, they are still more likely to experience fatigue when working at night. After all, the body is naturally programmed to rest during the night. Worker fatigue may lower productivity and increase workers' chances of making dangerous mistakes.

Some workers may feel more comfortable working late into the night than others. Ask workers about their preferences, and assign night-preferring workers to the nighttime projects. Generally, people are least alert between 1 am and 6 am, so avoid scheduling difficult projects during this time.

You should also schedule regular breaks for your workers. Making sure the worksite has enough light can also help reduce worker fatigue.

If you follow these tips, your nighttime construction project can be as effective or even more effective than your daytime projects. After all, at night you won't have to deal with as much interference from traffic. You also have many more uninterrupted working hours to focus on your project.

Follow these tips and boost your business with successful nighttime construction projects. 

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