With nights drawing in and the temperature getting cooler by the day, we are starting to think of the winter months and what that means for our business. While none of us wants to be thinking of the cold mornings and dark evenings, it’s important to start and prepare for the next few months now.
Winter has the potential to get nasty here in the UK, with strong winds, temperatures below 0°, ice, snow and lots and lots of rain. It is a nightmare for all of us and can lead to slower project progress than we would like, and even create more risk of injury. So how can you keep your site going and stay productive during the colder months?
At Stop Digging we appreciate the struggles in winter, as that was one of the driving forces behind our ground screw design. So here are five tips we have found useful to ensure you can carry on working no matter the time of year:
1. Monitor the forecast
We are not unfamiliar with this here in the UK, and it may sound like common sense, but it is so important to keep up to date with weather changes throughout the week. As you keep track of the changes, then you may be able to move jobs to when would be most appropriate to carry them out. When it’s wet outside, scheduling inside jobs can save time and also keep your staff dry.
2. Planning early on
The time to start thinking about the effect the winter will have on your site is during the warmer weather when you can do something to help keep things moving later on. Think about warm break areas so that your staff have a place to dry off and warm up. Also, extra lighting is a good idea to invest in so that the site can continue to work safely and constructively when the sun goes down. Portable heaters are another investment to consider, as bare unfurnished buildings can sometimes feel colder than outside.
3. Good scheduling
When planning your jobs over the next few months try to think about the stages of your different projects, so you can keep them weather appropriate. This also applies to your scheduling when and what your staff will be working on during the day. Making sure outside work is done in shorter durations is helpful for your staff so that they are not exposed to the elements for too long. This can reduce sickness, and ensure you have a full team when you need them.
4. Have the right equipment
Having the right equipment and materials for your winter jobs can make a big difference to the flow of work. For example, one of the best ways to keep your site on track is to use Stop Diggings ground screws instead of concrete where possible. If your team is digging foundations and laying concrete, the weather can play a big part in jobs being delayed, as the concrete needs the right conditions to dry before the job can continue. On the other hand, ground screws can be supplied and installed in any weather conditions (even snow and ice). And they also only take a few hours to install so it can save you both time and money, keeping you on-site and on time.
5. Health and safety
According to the HSE, falls are the most common cause of injury and death in the construction industry. While this is true year-round, with the added elements of cold, ice and slippery surfaces with the rain, it’s important to keep an eye on the health safety measures that are in place on-site.
A couple of areas to keep an eye on:
- Make sure walkways are gritted.
- Provide cold weather PPE so when tradespeople are working outside they are fully insulated to retain body heat and prevent the cold weather from affecting them.
- Regularly checking the site to see if the weather has caused any new hazards, especially after any strong storms.
By putting these five tips in place, and good planning, you can ensure your site stays on time and productive this winter, no matter the weather! If you would like more information on how you can use Stop Digging ground screws to keep your business running during winter then contact us on: SALES@STOPDIGGING.CO.UK or 020 3970 3979