Winter is right around the corner, which means frosty mornings and dark nights are upon us. It can be a cosy time of year, but it can also bring adverse weather conditions: extreme cold, high winds, snow and sleet, making for icy roads and pavements.
If you manage a business, you want to make sure it is safe and thriving all year long, no matter the season. We have put together some important safety tips to help you prepare for winter and keep your business, property and employees safe.
Remove snow from pavements and car parks
There is a big risk of slipping on ice or snow, especially on those extra cold days when people are rushing to get inside where it is warm. That’s why it is important for you, as a business owner, to make sure that all ice and snow is effectively removed from your pavements and car parks.
There are many ways to do this, ranging from spreading salt on the ground to melt the ice away, to using a snowplough to push the snow from one place to another.
Grit spreaders have been designed to spread grit and salt over roads and driveways because salt decreases water’s freezing point and causes the top layer of ice to melt. There are many grit spreaders you can choose from including:
- Tow-behind grit spreaders – best suited for large car park areas.
- Tailgate spreaders – ideal for large spaces where a car can pull the grit spreader along.
- Pedestrian spreaders – the best option for smaller spaces, they simply need to be pushed along by hand to spread the salt.
Snow ploughs, on the other hand, allow the easy clearance of snow without the need to use a shovel, making them an easy and efficient tool. They are used to create pathways for safe access to and from, or even around the workplace.
The angled blades make it easy to clear snow and ice by cutting through and pushing snow to the side to create a safe path.
Check your roof and pipes
Take a walk around your property and inspect it for any roof damage or leaks. Look out for loose or missing materials as these areas are very vulnerable to snow loads, high winds and water penetration.
If, after ispecting the roof, you have spotted any issues, make sure to have them fixed by a professional as soon as possible. This way you can deal with the issue quickly and efficiently instead of leaving the problem, which could become a much more costly repair job later.
Frozen pipes are another risk that winter brings, not only to businesses but to homes, too. Water pipes that freeze are at risk of rupturing, leading to serious leaks and flooding. To prevent frozen pipes and the damage that they cause, you can insulate pipes in areas that aren’t heated, such as attics, with foam insulation or heat tape.
Install a generator
If temperatures fall below freezing, it can lead to disruption of electronic equipment and lighting. By installing a generator, you can prepare for the possibility of power loss and help reduce the overall disruption to your business.
This way you can avoid or reduce commercial property damage, and keep business running as usual even on the coldest of days.
Encourage staff to be prepared
It can be scary driving to work on cold and snowy days, which is why you should encourage your staff to keep an emergency kit in their car and stay prepared at all times.
You could encourage them to invest in snow tyres, or supply them with a kit to stock up their vehicle with shovels, blankets, in-car phone chargers and even energy bars. This way if they get stuck on the way to work, or in a bank of snow, at least you’ll know they are warm and safe.