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The best Facilities Managers stay one step ahead of the weather

30 Nov 2016
Posted by: Sam Norton

Are you prepared?

The winter months can bring with them freezing temperatures, icy conditions and snowfall. This can take a huge toll on all aspects within the day to day demands of business life. In a typical winter the Association of British Insurers estimates frozen and burst water pipes cost £7million daily to UK businesses and homes. And the 2010 ‘big freeze’ in the UK resulted in costs exceeding £1billion for clean-up and repair.


The winter period of 2014 swept the land with Hurricane Bertha battering parts of the UK as gale force winds swept throughout the nation, and the late January snow storms meant evacuation procedures were put into place across Hospitals, Schools & Care Homes to protect the vulnerable. Yet 2015 was one of the warmest since records began, but widespread severe flooding across the North caused disaster to businesses, homes and transport systems during late December.

Are you at risk?

“As the nights are getting darker and the temperatures begin to fall across the UK, there’s no better time to start preparing your staff and buildings for the adverse and often unpredictable weather that’s right around the corner”


Can your building afford to be caught out by the weather? Do you have the adequate number of staff to meet the demands your company might face? Snow causes chaos on the roads and rail, roof tiles are blown off, car parks become ice rinks, heating systems are struggling to meet the demands of staff / service users and the vicious cycle begins of breakdowns, delayed response times and an increase in maintenance / repair costs. A lack of preparation to ensure equipment is serviced and checked, materials are stocked up and contingency plans are in place can often lead to businesses closing for days on end with unnecessary financial loses a result of the close. Every business should have a winter maintenance plan, for both planned and reactive works at any given time, but when you consider the costs involved it often leads to corners being cut.

Meeting the demand…

When you consider service requests, there's an interesting void that exists in the FM industry. While these requests are a daily occurrence, they can often get put to the back of the pile and become less of a priority. Whether you’re Director of Estates, Regional Facilities Manager, Contracts Administrator or a Handyman, use your work order systems to identify the 10 most common service requests received during the winter months. A winter-freeze prevention plan should be prepared or updated at least a month before the normal arrival time of freezing weather. This will ensure that action can be initiated at short notice to protect buildings from damage. As winter weather approaches, conditions can change very quickly and the ability to react can unexpectedly become hampered.

Temporary staff…

It’s difficult to get the balance right between staffing budgets, increased repair costs and over-stretched staff during this period. Most companies will take the risk and hope for the best in these difficult situations, unaware of what other options are available. At PSR, our industry expert consultants are able to help assist you with your staffing needs to ensure you are not only receiving exceptional candidates, but receiving a cost effective solution to your problems. Interim staff can give you the flexibility of cover over a short period of time, but also helps take away the constraints and length of time it takes to recruit a candidate. We are able to assist you on a freelance or permanent basis from trades and maintenance staff, right the way through to Health & Safety Executives, Estates Managers and Director level appointments.

Please call a member of the FM team at PSR today on 01785 715505, for a friendly discussion regarding your staffing solutions this winter! Alternatively e-mail me at snorton@psrsolutions.co.uk


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