Every year we brace ourselves for the inevitable arrival of snow and this year is no different.
Temperatures have already dropped below freezing and we haven’t even hit winter yet, not to mention the massive amount of snowfall we had just a week ago.
Snow and ice are a major health and safety hazard, and as much as we all look forward to a white Christmas, we also know all too well the trouble that it can bring with it…
The biggest cause of accidents, thanks to snow, is slipping on frost and ice – I’m sure we all have had a nasty fall in bad weather – but there are precautions you can put in place to reduce this risk.
- Spread grit on hazardous areas within your premises such as car parks and entryways to make it a little easier for people to get in and out of the building
- Ensure that your employees wear appropriate footwear, so no heels when walking into or out of work
- Provide shoe grips as part of your PPE provisions
- Clear a pathway in the snow so that it doesn’t restrict access into the building and prevents a build-up of ice
- Block off any areas that are deemed too dangerous and suggest safer, alternate routes
The roads can become a very dangerous place when it snows and, as an employer, you must ensure that employees are not travelling to work in treacherous conditions that could put their safety at risk.
When it’s unsafe to drive into work, and there is no alternative method, then offer your employees the option to work from home or close the office for a day or two.
At the very least, ensure that they are aware of the safe driving techniques in winter weather so that anyone who does have to drive into work is extra cautious when doing so.
Over recent years schools are increasingly becoming health and safety conscious and should they have difficulty in providing adequate staffing levels, be unable to provide safe environments or adequate heating, it is likely that they may close until provisions can be put in place.
As such, this can cause childcare issues for your employees. As a responsible employer you may look to make home working a provision where appropriate or, alternatively, employees do have the right to dependant leave, which is unpaid time off to deal with emergency situations such as school closures or interruption to childcare provision.
‘Tis the season to be coughing and sneezing – and the colder it gets the more chance we have of catching a nasty cold or flu.
If someone in the workplace has an illness, the best way to stop it from spreading is to encourage them to stay home until they are feeling better.
However, this may not always be an option so there are some alternatives:
- Keep the workplace clean so that germs are less likely to spread
- Isolate any ill workers for a day or two by giving them their own room to work in
- Ensure that the premises are kept to a decent temperature and that hot drinks are always available
- Educate workers on how to protect themselves i.e. washing their hands, throwing tissues in the bin
- Provide antibacterial gel in the workplace and other cleaning products
If you would like some further support with health and safety or staffing issues during the winter period, then give us a call on 0845 2626 260.