The Cost of Bad Weather to the Construction Industry
The growth of GDP is at risk of being halved during the first three months of this year due to the recent challenging weather in Britain.
The country was brought to a halt as the Beast from the East made its way from Siberia to meet Storm Emma from the south, making it the most expensive weather front since Christmas of 2010, with analysts estimating the cost to the economy as at least £1Bn per day.
As motorways stood still with passengers stranded for hours in their cars and high streets turned into wintry ghost towns, the construction industry was the hardest hit as workers were forced to down tools. Experts predicted losses of up to £2Bn within construction during the worst three days of the icy weather, as the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) reported that it was not purely the snowfall wreaking havoc on sites – but the sub-zero temperatures making it too cold to lay bricks.
Many construction bosses told their staff to take time off when the snowfall began, as the inability to lay bricks was not the only concern on site in freezing weather. Low temperatures can affect workers in a number of ways and there are legal requirements to consider to ensure the safety of staff.
Cold weather can make it difficult to concentrate, so those working in construction may be susceptible to errors in judgement which could lead to very serious accidents on site. The chill can also cause lowered dexterity for those working with machinery, another potential hazard alongside the more obvious slips and falls on ice and snow. Cold weather introduces an entirely new set of additional hazards to the already high risk environment of a construction site, so it is essential to have relevant plans and procedures in place.
When battling the winter weather, workers should be wearing the appropriate gear to keep warm, as well as taking regular breaks to reduce their risk of hypothermia. Project Managers may wish to check that those working outdoors are equipped with:
- Helmet liners
- Thermal socks
- Waterproof work boots
Sites should also be well lit and frozen areas covered or gritted to reduce the chances of injury.
As we hope to see the end of the treacherous weather, many look forward to the new beginning of spring. Businesses and construction projects alike hope to recoup the costs of the harsh weather and make up for lost time. Conditions on site will be sure to improve in the new season and as a result, the productivity of workers will rise. With transport no longer an issue, your fleet can get back on the road without the worry of dangerous driving conditions. And there are other ways in which your business can look at ensuring safety and cost-effectiveness come rain or shine.
Having a tracking system fitted in your company vehicles will not only monitor driver behaviour to ensure safety in adverse weather, but will also provide a multitude of benefits for your business all year round. It is all too easy to return to less safe driving habits once our roads have returned to normal and a tracking system can alert you to harsh acceleration and braking and lets you know exactly how your company vehicles are being driven. If you’ve suffered some loss of time during the cold snap, spring would be the prime time to invest in a system that will put some more spring green in your pocket.
To find out more about how a tracking system from Phantom could benefit you, whatever the weather, call 0161 476 4050, today.