Image Source: Stephen Rush
Rebecca Wayman

Which new technology could boost the UK's construction industry by £265m?

New analysis by insurance provider Direct Line for Business has revealed construction companies across the UK could be collectively losing around £265m every year due to a lack of light in winter.

Last year alone, construction workers clocked up an average of 37.9 hours per week during the summer months, yet only 37.2 during winter, which means a total of 20 hours and 22 minutes working time is lost from October to March per employee.

It is said the average construction worker who earns around £544 per week, the financial impact is a loss of £295 over such months. This means that there are around 899k UK construction workers who could be missing out on a total of just under £266k.

Matt Boatwright, head of Direct Line for Business, said: “Those working in the construction industry are clearly in demand, with the average hours of work increasing by more than 45 minutes per week over the last decade.

“However, the UK’s construction businesses have always been restricted in the hours that they work by the weather, with poor weather conditions or light quality having an impact.

“New innovations, such as Fleetlights, which is a prototype service that uses a fleet of flying torch drones, controlled via a bespoke app, could potentially make the construction industry more productive. Just a few minutes’ extra work per day can have a positive impact…”

Analysing historic weather patterns in the UK has shown that there are over 15 hours of sunlight in the summer months, and only nine and a half in winter. In addition, construction workers average a total of just under 2,000 hours on the job - the second highest for any industry after agriculture.

Direct Line Group has recognised the transformative power of new technology, like drones, which can help such a situation. The company has donated a fleet of waterproofed drones to the Caister Lifeboat service, which will help to perform semi-autonomous flights to help lifeboat crews spot people at sea.

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