Simple Safety for the Winter Workplace

winter workplace safety
Winter office

If you’re running a small business or work in health and safety, the winter can bring with it plenty of issues to consider. With some experts suggesting the milder weather has passed and a cold snap is imminent – it may be time to reach for the snow shovels and tackle some of these. So what should you do to make your winter workplace safer?

Conduct a risk assessment

It’s a legal requirement of all businesses to conduct a thorough risk assessment that takes all potential safety issues into consideration. However, the winter workplace can be very different – so it’s worth giving your current policy a second look. Identify floor space that could become particularly slippery and keep an eye out for areas that might flood easily. If necessary, get a grit and salt spreader in to keep accidents to a minimum.

Make any repairs immediately

The risk assessment should throw up some valuable information, including any repairs that need to be made to the premises. If you rent, you should highlight these to your landlord or property owner immediately, but if it’s your building you’ll need to make sure they are dealt with. Not only will putting off repairs make them more of a pain when the ice and snow hits, it could render the area or item that needs attention even more dangerous.

Put up some safety signs

There’s no real way to make a working environment 100 per cent free from the possibility of an accident, but if you know where potential risks are there’s plenty you can do to make things as safe as possible. One smart move is to invest in some safety signs that make clear any places where staff and visitors need to exercise extra caution. Whether this is trip hazards, low ceilings, slippery floors or even chemical storage, there are signs to suit.

Give some extra training

Once you’ve done all of this work and have conducted a risk assessment that considers the dangers of the winter workplace, it’s a good idea to tell everyone. Arrange a short informal session with your staff to walk through all the potential issues and what you have done to address them. By letting everyone know exactly what to watch out for, you should reduce the chances of an accident even further.

There are plenty of things you can so ahead of the arrival of snow, sleet and ice like buying a snow pusher, but the simplest things offer a good place to start. With that in mind, get busy with the above and have a safer season.

Image: DenaliNPS / Flickr