Leadership and Management 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!

Leadership after the Pandemic

Leadership and Management

We’ve seen a massive shift in leadership and management styles in the last 12 months. Alongside the technological advances of the last decade, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced businesses to swiftly adapt to new styles of work. Fortunately, adapting is human nature.

In our previous blogs, we have outlined how managers can assist their staff whilst working from home, as well as how a hybrid-style of working may be our future. After the pandemic, we are bound to see a variety of working environments across the board. Whichever style of working suits your business, it is important that leadership and management strategies adapt accordingly.

The ‘new-norm’

We’ve all heard this phrase, even more so as more restrictions are lifted nationally. But what does the ‘new-norm’ actually mean? And how will it affect your business?

As your business model adapts to flexible or hybrid working, it is imperative that managers ensure that all of their staff are ‘singing from the same hymn-sheet’. Leadership styles will need to adapt to make sure that organisational goals are achieved with staff working within the office, and from home.

Teamwork starts with the individual

As a manager, it is crucial that you understand your staff on an individual basis. Each member of your team will have different feelings towards restrictions easing. Vaccination rates across different age groups, and mental health and wellbeing are all factors to an individual’s readiness to come back to the office.

Catch-up with your team on a one-to-one basis. Helping them find the right working environment will ensure that your business continues to reach and exceed goals and expectations.

Moving Forward

If we have learnt anything this year, it is that humans will adapt. As we move forward, we must continue to adapt our businesses with the same vigour as before. In doing so, your business and team will continue to flourish both personally and professionally.



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