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Ice build-up freezes Swiss construction

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11:30 CET+01:00

The freezing weather has brought a halt to construction all over Switzerland.

The Swiss Builders’ Association has estimated that only two thirds of employees are currently at work. Construction sites, and road works in particular, have had to be abandoned all over the country due to the snowfall and freezing temperatures.

When temperatures fall to below -5 degrees, materials such as asphalt and concrete become unworkable, and conditions for the employees become more dangerous, Swiss news agency SDA reports.

“It’s no good at these low temperatures,” Christoph Zaugg, director of road construction firm Friedli & Caprani AG, told newspaper 20 minutes. “We can no longer ensure good quality.”

There is no legal requirement to stop working at certain temperatures, with each case to be determined by the employer.

Recommendations on the Swiss Builders’ Association website suggest that there is minimal risk to an employee with sufficient clothing working in temperatures of -28 degrees, although with strong winds the recommended lowest temperature is -5 degrees.

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