Why do road workers never work

Löbau / region. A few blocking signs in Löbau can soon be dismantled again. The two traffic circles in the city center are far from finished, but at least part of the pond promenade that leads to Neumarkt. The sewer system there has been renewed in the past few weeks. The construction workers have laid new pipes for sewage and water over a length of over 70 meters. A shaft still needs its cover, a thick concrete slab. A second shaft will be built this Wednesday. “The road is to be opened again in November,” says foreman Frank Schwarz.

In the past week in particular, the work was not easy for him and his people - because of the constant rain. Next to the torn open pond promenade is a hose that the construction workers need to pump out groundwater. Last week the rainwater came from above. “It wasn't easy,” says Frank Schwarz. “But you can protect yourself with the right clothing and you can warm up in the construction container,” he explains. The construction company STL from Löbau has been commissioned with the work on the pond promenade. "We have protective work clothing for our people that is particularly warm and water-repellent," explains Managing Director Ullrich Wustmann. "We also set up heated containers or construction trailers on our construction sites."

Such measures to protect the construction workers are even provided for by law, explains Holm Felber, spokesman for the State Office of Saxony. “Basically, there are no occupational safety regulations that prohibit work in the rain,” says Felber. But: The employer must set up the workplaces in such a way that the health and safety of the employees are not endangered. "The legislator therefore obliges employers, if necessary, to provide personal protective clothing," explains Holm Felber. For the construction workers this means: rain protection clothing and a place where you can change and warm up.

“Most construction companies are now doing this too,” says Klaus Hartung. He is the deputy regional manager at the construction union. “But every exception that we catch is too much.” The fact that construction workers are exposed to all kinds of weather is one reason that many do not hold out until they reach retirement age. “It always gets damp and clammy in the rain at some point.” But at what point does it finally end? For the construction company STL, the point was reached last week with the road construction work between Obercunnersdorf and Eibau. Asphalt should be applied there. “When it rains, the quality can suffer,” says Ullrich Wustmann. When it comes to the weather, he is always well informed. "We decide in the morning whether we can build and order materials or not."

Other construction work is also not possible in the rain. Concreting, bricklaying or insulation, for example, need dry weather. In civil engineering and sewer work, on the other hand, it can sometimes be wet - up to a certain point: “You can pump out the water. But if the ground is too soft, that doesn't help either, ”explains Wustmann. If it gets colder than minus five degrees, civil engineering is no longer an option, as the pipes and seals can become brittle. “At the moment it's still possible,” says Polier Schwarz. He is optimistic about the pond promenade.