Whether you are ready or not, winter is here. Freezing temperatures, snow and ice contribute to an increased risk of people slipping and falling—at home and at work. To ensure that everyone stays safe, there are some ways you can winterize your workplace:
1. Keep Walkways Clear
To reduce the chances of people getting injured on your property, you need to keep the walkways clear. This includes sidewalks and your parking lot. If you have a maintenance staff, then you’ll need to discuss with them what your expectations are for removing snow and ice from the area.
In addition to shoveling the snow and ice away from the walkways, you may also expect them to put down salt or other chemicals to melt away ice and other slipping hazards. Again, you’ll want to make sure your maintenance crew has the proper tools to do this and knows how often you expect to have it done.
If you don’t have a maintenance crew at your office, then you might consider hiring a professional to help with this task. You might think that you can save some money by having your employees shovel the walkways and sprinkle salt, but this could be hazardous. If they don’t have the right shoes or clothes, they could get injured. You need someone with experience and expertise to do these tasks to keep everyone who comes onto the property safe.
2. Keep the Interior Clean and Dry
Even with keeping your parking lot and walkways clear, the possibility of snow and other elements being brought into your building increases. Puddles can increase the risk of people slipping, which can lead to injuries. Thus, as a way to winterize your workplace, you need to clean up any puddles that you find, especially on floors that aren’t covered in carpet.
You might also consider putting down a few more mats at your entrances. This will give people a larger area to clean off their shoes and reduce the chances of puddles forming. Just make sure that the edges stay flat to reduce tripping and falling hazards as people enter your building.
3. Keep an Eye Open for Hazards
In addition to being proactive and having a plan in place to prevent slips and falls at the workplace, you’ll also need to keep an eye open for hazards. Winter is known to be unpredictable, and issues can arise at any moment. When that occurs, for the safety of people at your building, get them taken care of as soon as possible.
Some things you’ll need to look out for including tripping hazards created by holes or cracks in sidewalks, gutters that might come loose from the building, tree branches that get weighed down by snow and could break off the tree, lighting that is burned out, or any other hazard that might arise.
Being prepared for winter weather takes planning and vigilance. Despite the cold weather, snow and ice, it is possible to winter-proof your workplace and keep people safe.