Winter can pose a range of difficult working conditions. From the guys on the construction site, to cleaning and security staff across various commercial buildings, it’s important to ensure their safety in all weather conditions.
Here, we look at five ways to ensure your workplace and work force are prepared for the winter months.
1. Prevent Slips and Falls
Falling over on icy surfaces must be the number one concern for employees during the winter months. Being prepared and ensuring all walkways, car parks and access points have been salted or gritted keeps snow and ice from freezing on the ground. If the weather is particularly bad, then having a plan for snow and ice removal in place ensures employees and customers can still access the building safely. RFM make sure we deliver the winter stock of salt and grit to our customers before the weather turns, to ensure they’re prepared for the icy weather. We would also recommend investing in good quality absorbent matting at a building’s entrance to help keep ice-melt residue from being treaded in.
Having task or flood lighting in place during the dark winter mornings and evenings, ensuring all work areas and access routes are well lit, dramatically reduces the risk of site staff slipping in poorly lit spaces as well as ensuring as much work as possible can continue so you’re able to keep to deadlines.
2. Sign-up for Weather Alerts
There are several weather apps and websites that you can sign-up for to keep ahead of any storm warnings, alerts and updates. Knowing ahead of a severe weather event enables you to have a plan in place and keep employees informed. Advising staff to allow extra time for journeys, or alerting construction staff to wear appropriate footwear and extra layers can all ensure that a business is able to keep running smoothly with as minimal disruption as possible.
3. Prepare your Office Building
In severe weather conditions it is important that your office building can keep running. Frozen or burst pipes, and faulty boilers are all major causes for expensive plumbing bills or even worse… structural damage bills! Ensure that boilers are regularly serviced, and the building is carefully checked for drafts, leaks and cracks – especially on rooves and around doors and windows. If you’re unsure how best to check for these signs then why not get a specialist company to come and give your building a winter health-check.
4. Guard your Technology and Data
Power outages can be costly, so it’s critical to back-up all company data and documentation. Whether you use onsite, off-site or cloud service hosting, ensure your system is working properly before any bad weather hits, just in-case staff need to be able to recover their work.
Also, ensuring staff can access files and emails remotely could prove useful if they are unable to get into work and means they can work securely from a different location. Our account managers are often out visiting customers, so they are equipped with tablets, meaning they can continue their duties whatever their location, including if they’re unable to travel because of bad weather.
5. Evaluate winter costs
Labour can be the biggest cost of winter maintenance; therefore, it is vital on any construction project that adverse weather conditions and the effect they may have on the number of work hours are considered. Clever forward planning and experienced project management means that jobs can be carefully planned and correctly costed.
The cost and proper use of winter products should be taken into account when looking after the maintenance of any building and it’s grounds. For example, rock salt can be easily sourced and at a low price, but it can be slow to melt and may cause harm to grass and plants, which would then be costly to replace.
At RFM we take great care to work with our customers to ensure we provide the best service by advising on all elements of preparing the workplace for winter. Our experienced account management team ensure that the buildings we maintain are all fully prepared, our project management team ensure the health and safety of all site staff is their number one priority in order to deliver projects on time, and of course we ensure our own office buildings and staff are suitably looked after.