Preparing your Business for Winter
Posted on 11th November 2018 at 16:45
Do not leave things to chance- act now!
Now is the time! The weather is colder, but we haven’t had snow yet (unless you are in Scotland!) and you need to plan for the bad weather, so your business isn’t too disrupted which leads to losses or accidents.
It a fact that Britain is never really prepared for bad weather conditions – everything seems to grind to a halt. The rail networks, buses and roads are always affected meaning that your business can lose money. We know bad weather will hit us but too many of us do little to protect our business.
So what contingencies can you put in place to cope?
Here are 6 top tips to ensure your business is ready for winter!
1. Staff travel
Start with going through all your team and making sure you know how they get to work. This should be something you do on a regular basis. A quick questionnaire – do they bus, cycle, walk, drive or come by train.
Once you know this vital piece of information you can look at which areas were affected over the past couple of years with bad weather and what alternative transport plans can be put into place in case of issues. Proper consultation with your staff before weather issues arise is always advisable. Make sure they fully understand what measures you have in place and they know how they are going to be able to get to work should their journey be affected. It may be that you need to have a process where they can work from home.
Make sure you have a contingency plan should there be a power cut. Ensure you have up to date contact information on all your staff and clients and that this can be accessed remotely. Good IT systems are vital for any business. Consider if your office had no power – how could you continue to work? If all your phones went off – how could your customers contact, you? Good risk assessments are vital. Investing in a generator may also be advisable, depending on what your business does.
3. Your building
How safe is your building during the winter months? When did you last get the central heating serviced? Are your pipes lagged and have they been checked for any potential issues? Are your windows insulated? How water tight is your roof? Floods are also a risk in some areas. It is important to look at what the potential risks are to your business in adverse weather and ensure your building is safe from the elements and warm for your staff.
Make sure you have a list of local tradesmen ready and that you have made the relevant checks before the weather hits below zero!
4. Preventing slips and falls
Make sure the exterior of your premises is checked daily and salt/grit added to prevent staff slipping or falling over. Ice is one of the major causes of broken and fractured limbs over the winter. Ensure you’ve gritted paths, car parks, fire escapes, access points, fire assembly points, delivery entrances
The ‘Health and Safety at Work act 1974’ requires employers to take appropriate steps to deal with slip and trip risks. Winter is an especially dangerous time for such incidents.
In the 2016 UK Health and safety report, it states that 20% of workplace accidents are caused by a slip, trip or fall. Don’t get caught out – make sure you have a simple daily procedure to ensure this doesn’t happen!
Is your insurance up to date? You can also get insurance for bad weather so investing in business interruption insurance may be worthwhile. Also check your building and contents insurance and make sure you are fully covered.
6. If your business has vehicles make sure they are ready. Ensure they are fully serviced and ready for winter and snow tyres may be a worthwhile investment if you need to deliver goods or have vehicles that need to keep moving during all weathers.
Remember the 4 P’s -Proper planning, prevents, problems!
By doing this now and ensuring you are ready for winter you will minimise disruption to your business and reduce the amount of financial loss you might suffer!