Construction Companies after the Texas winter storm
Texas was recently devastated by an unprecedented winter storm that caused billions in damages and caution in the air as lawmakers, citizens, and the country wonders what is next. The construction industry has been impacted by labor storage, business plans at risk as variables are harder to predict, company damage, materials in short supply, and a global pandemic. It is safe to say that times are not normal.
The industry has to strategize more than plan A and B, but C and D with contingency plans for the unpredicted, including record-setting low temperatures and the possibility of 4 million people losing power and building destruction or damage.
What makes Texas different than other disasters?
The winter freeze is different for Texas companies and less for others. You can’t get too comfortable and then expect a perfect response from leaders when there weren’t backup plans and strategy sessions on ‘what if’s and unlikely possibilities. Take warnings seriously when given the opportunity. Texas has indicators that it could not handle a long winter storm yet ignored the warnings and later paid the consequences.
It is essential to evaluate your environment, brainstorm possible challenges and solutions that are sustainable, and create implementation plans.
How are construction companies adapting?
- Companies are having issues with machines not starting in the cold conditions; people can’t get to work because of the lack of road clearing, and the question of what next is unanswered.
- We know the construction industry is resilient and wants to get back to work. Thoughtful consideration about when it’s safe to return is needed to ensure safety for everyone. For workers not used to working in cold winters, on-the-job injuries from falling that cause bone fractures are higher than any other time of the year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Companies are creating toolboxes with resources, guidance, and previous successes and failures during out-of-the-ordinary times to aid and keep new leaders, the company, and the mission in check. The most recent addition, the Extreme Cold Edition.
- Contractors in Central Texas have taken action during and after the Texas winter freeze to mitigate risks by analyzing the recourses they had in their toolbox. The first from the Standard Operating Procedures on when and why to stop work and when to resume. Work was immediately halted and not started again until roads were clear and safe for everyone. President of Intracorp Texas Brad Stein shut the company down the Friday, Saturday, and Monday to ensure the safety of all workers. The second most important thing they did to adapt to the weather and prepare for any future event was create a report outlining questions that had in decision making, direct and indirect risks to working in severe temperature, what went right, what went askew and more questions to aid in foreseen and unforeseen events.
- Just like adapting to a customer’s needs makes your bit more appealing, adapting and adjusting to any situation and event can make a company more robust and resilient.
- The 2019 Global Risks Report created by the World Economic Forum reviewed the likeliest risks, and extreme weather was on this list that could result in over a billion dollars in damage for each disaster, including hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados, and more.
As the odds for extreme weather increase, is your company prepared?
- Some construction companies have created a list of questions to ask that will assist in preparing your toolbox.
- Have you built strategies to help you navigate weather delays?
- Are you doing enough during the planning phase to prepare your job site for severe weather events?
- Does your builders’ risk coverage sufficiently protect your construction project?
- Are you using the most accurate tools and technology at your disposal to obtain the best weather forecasts?
- Is your job site adequately protected from bad weather once work begins?
Let us know how your company is adapting to extreme weather!