The winter season is the most common time of year for construction companies to endure loss. Why? Because during the cold months, business is slower, companies are not utilizing equipment and workers are more susceptible to injury from the harsh weather conditions. To lower risk, you must make sure your employees practice the appropriate safety precautions during these months. Properly training employees, equipment maintenance, and having the right construction insurance policy are all ways to make sure your business remains secure.
Loss #1: Equipment Theft
Equipment theft is the biggest loss that construction companies endure in the winter. It is reported as a significant problem in the United States as well as Canada, Australia, Europe and Japan. Construction equipment theft occurs year round, however during the cold months claims seem to spike. This is because of a few reasons: Days are short and it becomes darker quicker, construction companies are generally slower, and employees are not using the equipment as much due to weather conditions. Generally, construction equipment is also believed to be targeted by thieves because it is also poorly secured, easily disguised and very expensive. They typically remove all identifying numbers before reselling the items, often to unsuspecting contractors or overseas. In the United States alone, the National Insurance Crime Bureau estimated that more than $1 billion in construction equipment was stolen each year.
Loss #2: Rear-End Collision
During the winter months, rear-end collision claims are at their highest due to harsh weather conditions. Rain, snow, slush, ice and high winds can affect a driver’s ability to see in front of them, stop in time, and keep the automobile within the lane. Also, many more road defects occur during this time. Potholes, bent stop signs or other road signs covered from foliage, and non-working traffic signals can all contribute to a rear-end accident.
Loss #3: Work-Related Injuries (Workers Compensation)
Work- related injuries, such as back injuries, peak during this time of year due to slips and falls. Ice, snow, sleet and high winds are all factors into these types of accidents. Employers must evaluate snow removal tasks for hazards and plan how to do the work safely. A surface that is weighed down by snow must be inspected by a competent person to determine if it is structurally safe for workers to access it, because it may be at risk of collapsing. Snow covered rooftops can hide hazards such as skylights that workers can fall through and electrical hazards may also exist from overhead power lines collapsing.
There are many ways you can prevent risk for your company during the harsh winter months. Keeping your business equipment properly secure, training your employees on safe driving, and knowing how to work safely in snow and ice are all precautions you can take to remain protected. Above all, having the right insurance for your business will help you in any of these losses occur. We are construction insurance experts and understand that the purchase of additional insurance is not always the best solution. We will listen to your needs and help your business by tailoring a program to your particular operation.