Inclement Weather & Incidents:- How it Affects Different Industries

Inclement Weather & Incidents

“How is the weather there?” What is Inclement Weather & How Inclement Weather Affects Industries we can discuss in blog.

This is a line that is a common part of almost every conversation. And the answer to this question can be cloudy, sunny, rainy, normal, cold, or even uncertain. 

For some people, this is just a part of the conversation, but for workers in the industrial sector, their daily schedule works around the weather. A considerable number of workers work under the sun every day for dedicated hours. The industrial sector needs to be alert about the daily and hourly weather to keep working smoothly and efficiently. 

So what are these inclement weather conditions, and how do they affect different industries, let us take a quick look.

How Inclement Weather Affects Industries

Inclement weather conditions, naturally, can have adverse effects on industrial work. Sometimes the operations or the entire construction site needs to be put to a halt due to bad weather conditions. It affects the dedicated projects’ overall progress, timelines, and obviously – costs. But nature’s fury cannot be avoided. All we can do is be prepared for it, so it causes minimum or no damage to the workers and the workplaces. 

So first, let us look at different types of extreme weather conditions and how they impact industries.

Lightning and Thunderstorm

Construction sites are particularly vulnerable. The high elevation of looming steel structures, cranes, and boom lifts commonly found on project sites can attract lightning during a storm. Metal materials and equipment can become deadly hazards when struck by lightning. Lightning is generally accompanied by worse weather, like heavy rains or thunderstorms. 

Lightning poses the risks of severe accidents particularly pertaining to electrocutions, fires, or explosions.

Extreme Temperatures

Extreme temperatures are another major hazard, particularly for open sites. They affect the workers and the working in more ways than we can think of. Exposure to cold temperatures could cause the body’s internal temperature to fall below the safe limits. As the body begins to lose heat, the blood vessels constrict to conserve whatever heat is remaining within. This could eventually lead to involuntary shivers, cold & numb hands & feet – hypothermia and if continued that way – less efficient brain, collapse & possibly, death of the worker.

Similarly with hot temperatures, the body gets rid of excess heat when the air temperature is higher or if the workload is heavy. With the heat pumping more blood, the blood vessels expand to accommodate to contain the increased flow leading the blood to circulate on the skin. When the atmospheric temperature & the one of the body are in closer proximity, it makes it difficult for the body’s temperature to cool off by itself. hard works becomes difficult to perform, leading to the possibility of increased worker accidents, illnesses etc. along with decreased efficiency.

Extreme temperatures also affect working conditions and employees’ health. Fatigue, overheating, heat stroke, dehydration, or operating machinery with winter gloves can cause serious accidents.

Strong Winds

Strong wind, in itself, impacts normal living conditions incredibly. So imagine the impact they create on working sites. Extreme winds create the possibility of loss of hearing, less visibility, high chances of objects falling, and people working at heights can lose their balance.

Also, strong winds impact vehicles heavily. Strong winds blow up dust, affecting visibility and even swaying the vehicles.


Fog is one weather condition wherein outdoor work must be completely shut down. Zero visibility of objects, persons, and vehicles make it impossible to work in foggy conditions. 

Imagine a construction site in a fog. When you are unaware of approaching vehicles, digging sites, scaffolds, and more, what are the chances of the work being carried out effectively, without causing any near misses or incidents?

How To Be Prepared For Inclement Weather

Mother nature works on her own will. Therefore we may not be able to avert weather conditions, but we can be prepared for them. Industrial sectors keep workers’ safety at the forefront and they must tighten their seatbelts when it comes to safety regarding inclement weather. 

Being prepared for predictable events is easy but being prepared for unpredictability requires tremendous effort and planning. Well, thanks to technology and innovation, weather conditions can be predicted. It makes us provide practical solutions and plan the work accordingly.

Warning Systems

Sensors and warning systems can be planted at heights, on top of vehicles, and at dedicated points to warn if the weather changes suddenly. These sensors detect lightning, wind speeds, rain, and visibility hindrances. Based on the severity of the detection, they send warning signals to the related devices. Therefore, the safety managers can take quick action and stop the work at the site immediately. If the severity is maximum, the warning signals automatically sound hooters or disarm alarm systems to alert the entire area in one go.

Meteorological Service Team

Staying in touch with the local meteorological department helps get accurate hourly to daily forecasts. A service team must be assigned to keep in touch with the departments to have detailed information, especially about the early morning and late night weather forecasts. 

Use of Automation and Technology

Organizations have switched to digitalization for seamless work processes. This digital world allows automation and technology to detect, maintain and convey precise weather conditions. 

For example, a wet bulb globe temperature technology can estimate the most accurate level of heat stress in direct sunlight. Additionally, a weather station can record daily temperatures and weather changes. This data can be stored and analyzed for further predictions. The weather data can be seamlessly integrated with the safety software for timely and exact predictions.

Some Weather Related Incidents

Inclement weather has caused minimal to tremendous damage in industrial sectors. Here are some incidents caused on the working site due to extreme weather conditions. 

In 2018, lightning struck two workers working on the roof in Kansas City, MO. One was killed as he fell off the roof, and the other was seriously injured. 

A street cleaner had a stroke and died due to extreme heat in Madrid, Spain. 

In Middleburg, Florida, three construction workers were hospitalized after being struck by lightning in Clay County in 2020.

These are only a few numbers to elevate the risk of inclement weather incidents. But as climate change grips the planet, weather-related incidents are rising. Therefore, it is crucial that organisations pay attention to acknowledging the weather and acting accordingly.


Safety supervisors must proactively work with the weather department for thorough risk assessments and management. Although weather conditions are unpredictable, the least we can do is to prepare for the workplace and be ‘weather-ready.’ For example, digging channels to route rainwater, storing harmful substances properly, stacking loose materials, etc.

So whether it is hurricanes, heavy rains, extreme temperatures, or storms, organisations need error-free crisis management. Introducing an inclement weather policy to implementing safety software for automated action plans helps accelerate rescue plans and operations.

Weather-related incidents can occur even with the best training and comprehensive measures. We cannot avoid them but be prepared to reduce the intensity of the risks in order to amplify workers’ safety, health, and well-being.

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