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How to keep your workplace safe during the winter

Written by: phs Greenleaf

phs Greenleaf has been providing planting and landscaping services to businesses for over 25 years, including indoor and outdoor plants, artificial and live planting, living walls, grounds maintenance and Christmas trees and decorations.

How to keep your workplace safe during the winter

As seasons change so do potential health and safety risks. With winter approaching, now is the perfect time to prepare for hazards caused by its wet and cold weather.  

Employers have a responsibility to ensure the health and safety of their employees. Regular risk assessments can ensure risks are noted and kept up to date, especially in the winter when bad weather can increase the risk of accidents or injuries and cause damage to property and equipment.  

Make sure you’ve got your winter safety plan in place with our guide to how to keep your workplace safe during the winter. 

What are common winter workplace hazards?

Workplace hazards increase during winter and autumn because of unpleasant weather conditions and less daylight hours. Rain and ice increase the risk of slips and trips in both the interior and exterior of workplaces; from icy car walkways to rain being brought inside on the soles of shoes. 

If your business has a car park, you have a legal obligation to keep the area safe and accessible. Ice and snow can limit safe access in exterior business areas, such as car parks and walkways. If these areas aren’t gritted, they could cause slips and car accidents; and this lack of action would potentially void your premises insurance policy.

Therefore, it’s important to invest in a winter maintenance plan that focuses on keeping your premises safe and welcoming for employees, customers, and visitors.

Winter safety tips for employees

As an employer it’s your duty to help your employees stay safe. Providing winter safety tips for employees can help them take the right precautions during the winter, avoiding unnecessary hazards. 

Some of the best winter safety tips for employees include: 

  • Advise employees on the measures being taken to ensure their safety, including gritting, additional lighting, and heating. 
  • Provide employees with personal safety equipment. Employees should be given personal safety advice to help the get to and from work safely when there is low lighting and cold conditions.  
  • Allow flexible working to help people travel to the workplace during daylight hours.  
  • Put procedures in place for severe weather, including effective communication to employees when there are extreme weather warnings in place. A ‘shut-down’ policy can be operated during times where extreme weather may make it difficult or dangerous for people to get to work. 
  • Ensure offices have adequate heating and lighting to keep employees warm. 
  • Make sure employees working outdoors or off-site are given adequate protective clothing.  

You can help spread awareness of winter safety tips through emails and blogs, meetings, and placing weather safety posters around your workplace. You should also make employees aware that they can get in touch to discuss any concerns about winter working arrangements. 

Introducing an adaptive approach to gritting

phs Greenleaf offer a legally compliant commercial gritting service that is proactive and fully adaptable to the needs of your business.  

HSE guidance says that gritting should be carried out ‘when frost, ice or snow is forecast or when walkways are likely to be damp or wet and the floor temperatures are at, or below freezing.’

To help you manage when grit is needed on your site, if the temperature gets to zero or lower, a grit visit will be triggered by phs Greenleaf. Visits will also be triggered if snow is forecast for your site. It’s that simple.

In white winters, phs Greenleaf can also support with commercial snow clearance. Using a gritting service will help take care of your grit needs without the need for someone in your business to take care of it. With many people working flexibly since the COVID-19 pandemic, this can ease the pressure, ensuring the gritting is taken care of when there may not be many people on site. 

The benefits of using the phs Greenleaf gritting service

The comprehensive gritting service on offer from phs Greenleaf supports the safety of your workplace while taking into consideration the broader impact on your premises and budget:

  • A fully-insured service that’s compliant with Duty of Care obligations.
  • No set charge for the whole of winter, you only pay for the visits attended.
  • Utilises real-time weather reporting to ensure your premises are proactively kept safe.
  • Uses White Marine Salt to minimise the amount of visible dirt being carried into buildings.
  • Nationwide service ensures gritters are always close by when you need them.
  • Undertaken by state-of-the-art machinery that has been successfully tested in harsh North American weather.

Speak to an expert

Maintaining winter safety is easier to do with the help of phs Greenleaf. Our services are designed to help managing your workplace easier, so that you can give the best to your employees.  

Get in touch to learn more about the adaptive and cost-effective gritting service available from phs Greenleaf.

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