While Indianapolis braces for bitter wind chills and several inches of snow, construction continues to heat up on the St. Francis Hospital–Indianapolis patient bed tower, where steel soon will be erected on the fourth and fifth floors.
Crews are taking added steps to protect the safety of their teams and the materials during these frigid temperatures, said Brian Phillips, construction manager with Tonn & Blank Construction, who is managing the construction project.
Just like anyone who goes outside, construction crew members take care to dress in layers and protect their skin during hazardous weather. “It’s no different than going skiing,” Phillips said.
What is different is their work day. More than an hour of any work day may be spent simply getting supplies prepped and safely ready to work with. But snow, ice and cold temperatures can get in the way.
“There’s quite a bit of time warming up equipment, de-icing and shoveling snow,” Phillips said.
Other steps must be taken to ensure that construction materials such as fireproofing and concrete do not freeze in below-freezing temperatures. Freeze-guard additives, heaters and construction drapes all help keep products in good working condition.
“Some of the areas actually get pretty warm,” Phillips said. “You’ll see some workers strip off their coats and work in T-shirts, even in this weather.”