By Daniel Hunter

Too many businesses are unprepared for the looming winter cold snap and it could cost the economy more than a billion pounds warn experts.

PHS Group, the workplace services provider says businesses should be proactive by developing a winter survival plan.

Over the winter months hundreds of working days are lost through accidents, transport delays and ailments at an estimated cost of £1.3 billion a day.

As the weather becomes wetter and colder, the risk of slips and trips by employees increases. According to statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) these are the most common cause of major injuries at work. On average they account for 33 per cent of all reported major injuries and cost employers £512 million per year.

Lower temperatures affect immune systems. In 2012/2013 the average winter temperature was 3.3 °C, 0.4 °C below the 1981-2010 average.

James Clark, managing director of PHS Direct, part of the PHS Group, said: “Businesses need to be more organised than they were last year and understand the impact of harsh weather conditions on staff safety and productivity.

"Days lost through flu and accidents can be prevented and needn’t stop work. These things shouldn’t catch everyone by surprise costing businesses time and money when they are an inevitable part of the British winter. A winter survival plan is really basic and a must for companies large and small.”

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