Contractors rely on two things to get the job done: their knowledge and their tools. Even the most educated and skilled craftsmen will be unable to get work done if their equipment is damaged or destroyed and if no plan is set for replacement.
These concerns make it crucial to have your tools and equipment covered by an adequate insurance policy. Equipment insurance is especially important during the winter months when hazards increase and correspond to a rise in accidents.
‘Tis the Season …For Environmental Hazards
Even the most careful contracting crews face increased risks during the cold months of the year. Inclement weather like freezes, blizzards and ice storms can put a damper on the best-laid plans.
Sometimes, equipment suffers the worst during these severe winter weather bouts. Equipment that has been left uninsulated can suffer freezing damage, especially if it contains pneumatic parts. Other times, water works its way into the machinery as a result of lingering snow melt, causing rust, electrical shorts and other permanent damage.
Removing snow presents hazards unto itself. Snow plows and snow removal crews can fail to detect equipment laying underneath the drifts, which can get crushed or bowled over by powerful equipment like plows or snow blowers.
There are also two all-too-common issues that tend to destroy construction equipment during the winter time: roof collapses and burst frozen pipes. Both can irreparably destroy equipment and set back contracting firms without the needed equipment insurance for months on end.
Increased Risk of Accidents
Outside of risks posed directly by the environment, cold, snowy or icy weather can easily lead to a rise in job site accidents. A large piece of machinery like a boom lift can slip on black ice and topple over, causing damage both to itself and to the work in progress. Errant snow collapses can bury valuable tools and cause water damage while the crew attempts to recover them.
Another problem is that cold, bundled-up workers may have trouble focusing on the task at hand. Their mind is on their shivering bodies, and their extra layers make it difficult to maneuver. As a result, the least accident-prone worker on the crew could suddenly drop a power tool or knock over a scaffold.
Human error or dramatic weather events do not have to be a factor to increase the risks for your construction equipment. Cold air is drier and heavier, and it causes added friction upon moving parts that would normally have warmer oil lubricating it. These seasonal effects take their toll on equipment over the season, so do not be surprised if your machinery or tools decide to take an unannounced day off.
Get Equipment Insurance to Keep Your Jobs Going This Winter
Unplanned work stoppages are revenue killers, and they hurt your clients as well. Keep everyone working and earning money this winter by reviewing your equipment insurance policy and ensuring that cold-weather risks are included in the benefits. If not, you may need to purchase a new policy or additional coverage to make it through the season while keeping everyone and everything safe. Don’t forget, it may be necessary to upgrade your equipment after the winter for increased safety and productivity.