Navigating the Challenges of Fall and Winter

Dear Members,

As we say goodbye to the warm, sunny days of summer and welcome the crisp air of fall, we’re also ushering in a new set of challenges that are unique to our industry. From unpredictable weather patterns to safety concerns and workforce development, there’s a lot to consider. Most importantly, the changing seasons can also take a toll on our mental health and wellbeing. In this month’s newsletter, we delve into these topics to provide you with insights that will not only improve your business but also the lives of your employees.

The impact of weather: Planning and preparation

In Western Washington, fall and winter bring their own set of difficulties, from heavy rainfall to icy conditions. While this can slow down projects, with adequate planning, we can mitigate many weather-related risks.

  • Risk assessments: Always carry out risk assessments to identify potential challenges that could arise due to weather conditions.
  • Flexible scheduling: Allow some flexibility in your schedules for unforeseen delays.

Workforce development: Skillset in stormy weather

The skills needed for roofing in optimal conditions are not the same as those required in harsh weather.

  • Training programs: Invest in training programs focused on working in challenging environments.
  • Skill diversification: Encourage your workers to diversify their skill sets to handle a range of weather conditions.

Safety protocols: Extra measures for extreme conditions

Safety is paramount, more so in unpredictable weather.

  • Weather-specific gear: Ensure that your team has access to clothing and equipment designed to handle cold and wet conditions.
  • Regular briefings: Hold regular safety briefings to remind your team of best practices, especially during the colder months.

Mental health & wellbeing: An often-overlooked aspect

The stress of meeting deadlines in difficult weather conditions can take a toll on mental health.

  • Open communication: Create an environment where employees feel comfortable sharing their concerns.
  • Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs): Consider implementing EAPs that offer confidential counseling services.

As we head into these colder months, it’s not just about changing our gear or revising our protocols. It’s about adopting a holistic approach that looks after our projects, our team and ourselves. Stay warm, stay safe, and take care of each other.

Best regards,

Justin Shirley

President, Roofing Contractors of WA


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