Environmental Management Organisation Archives - John Burke Associates

Navigating Construction Work in Snow and Low Temperatures

employer responsibilities

As the temperature drops in the UK this week, the challenges of working in construction during snow or low temperatures are significant. Understanding the legal obligations, employer responsibilities, and practical advice for coping with these conditions is crucial for the safety and efficiency of any construction project. In this blog, John Burke Associates explains your key responsibilities to your workers.

Understanding UK Laws on Low-Temperature Working

In the UK, while there is no legal minimum outdoor working temperature, the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 mandate that employers provide a ‘reasonableworking temperature. For construction sites, this means employers must assess risks and implement reasonable measures to protect workers from the cold. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) provides guidance on working in cold conditions, emphasising the need for risk assessment and management.

Employer and Site Manager Responsibilities

Employers and site managers have a legal obligation to ensure the health and safety of their workers. This includes:

Risk Assessment:

Identifying potential hazards associated with low temperatures and snow, including risks of slips, trips, falls, frostbite, or hypothermia.

Providing Appropriate PPE:

Ensuring all workers have access to suitable personal protective equipment (PPE), such as insulated gloves, waterproof boots, and thermal clothing.

Site Safety Measures:

Implementing safety measures like gritting for icy surfaces, providing sheltered areas, and ensuring that equipment is safe to use in cold conditions.

Training and Awareness:

Educating staff about the signs of cold stress and the importance of regular breaks in warm areas.

General Advice for Working in Snow or Low Temperatures

Working in cold weather calls for specific precautions:

Stay Warm and Dry:

Layer clothing to stay warm and dry. Waterproof and windproof outer layers are essential.

Regular Breaks:

Take regular breaks in heated areas to prevent cold stress.

Stay Hydrated and Energised:

Drink warm fluids and eat high-energy foods to maintain energy levels.

Clear Snow and Ice:

Keep working areas clear of snow and ice to prevent accidents.

Check Weather Forecasts:

Be prepared and adaptable to changing weather conditions.


Working in construction during snow or low temperatures in the UK requires careful planning and adherence to safety standards. By understanding the legal framework, fulfilling employer responsibilities, and following general safety advice, construction sites can maintain productivity while ensuring the wellbeing of all personnel. Remember, the key to successful winter construction is preparation, awareness, and ongoing vigilance against the unique challenges posed by cold weather. Stay safe and stay informed!

Biodiversity Net Gain and Property Development

property developers

Biodiversity Net Gain and Property Development

In a bid to combat the climate crisis and restore nature within the built environment, property developers will soon be required to improve biodiversity. In November 2021, the government announced a landmark amendment to add biodiversity net gain to the new Environment Act 2021. This means that biodiversity net gain will become a mandatory part of the planning process. Furthermore, developers will be required to deliver a minimum 10% net gain in biodiversity.

What is Biodiversity Net Gain?

Biodiversity net gain also known as BNG, aims to preserve the natural environment in development as well as improving where permissible. The goal is to leave nature in a measurably better state than it was beforehand. Therefore, contributing to achieving the commitments made at COP26. The recent change in legislation means it will become a mandatory requirement as of Winter 2023.

How Will This Affect Property Developers?

Many property developers are already adopting the biodiversity net gain approach voluntarily or in line with local authority requirements. The proposed mandatory legislation would give more clarity and certainty of what is expected. As we are a quality and environmentally driven consultancy, we support our clients in achieving results in this area.

Have Your Say

While the Environment Act 2021 sets out the core components, the journey to implementation is an arduous one. Therefore, a crucial part of this journey is the DEFRA led consultation. It is essential this consultation receives feedback from all interested parties to understand how best to implement the legislation. The public consultation is now open and runs until 5th April 2022. The responses will help shape the success of BNG and develop secondary legislation and guidance for all.

 Do You Need More Advice?

John Burke Associates work with a varied and prestigious portfolio of clients across the UK. Our forward-thinking approach provides pro-active advice and cost-effective solutions. We are also certified under ISO 14001 as an Environmental Management Organisation. We continue to review our procedures for improving our environmental performance.