On-Site Magazine

Pausing work? Consider these precautions

By Northbridge Financial   

Health & Safety

Many businesses in the construction industry have been impacted by government legislation ordering non-essential site closures, to help stop the spread of COVID-19. If you need to temporarily pause work, there are several steps you can take to protect your site and equipment from risks such as theft.

A thorough shut down procedure involves proper storage of equipment, safely turning off all utilities, enforcing security measures, and establishing a communications plan.


  • All tools, equipment, materials, and machinery should be removed and secured off site.
  • Any materials (including scaffolding) which cannot be removed should be secured to protect them from heavy winds.
  • Combustible materials and non-installed appliances should be removed.
  • Tower cranes should be inspected as per jurisdictional requirements and access should be secured.



 The main water supply should be turned off and water should be drained from plumbing systems. Any pumping equipment or dewatering systems should be properly fueled and filled so that they operate without any workers present.

  • Temporary space heaters should be turned off and removed.
  • Fuel tanks should be emptied or removed from the site.
  • Compressed gas cylinders should be removed.


  • Existing site security provisions should be reviewed to ensure that they are operational and maintained (e.g. surveillance systems).
  • Gates into the site and any doors or entryways should be locked.
  • Perimeter fencing should be checked and secured.
  • Existing fire protection and detection provisions should be maintained.


  • Establish a communications plan and reporting protocol that outlines key contacts and their back-ups, the chain of communications, and the processes in place to communicate important updates.

Lastly, even after securing your site for the closure, perform exterior and interior site visits every 72 hours, and take detailed notes when you do.

To learn more about key risk management practices that can assist during a pandemic, like COVID-19, reach out to The Northbridge Risk Services team who can provide educational materials and consulting. All services and training offerings offered by the Risk Services team are designed to help you run a safer, more profitable business.



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