Winter is Coming

The clocks went back an hour on Sunday 29th October and with daylight getting shorter and nights drawing in this signals the start of the winter months. We’ve already had our first big storm in the form of Ophelia and with snow, ice and more gales likely to follow in the coming months we’ve put together some useful tips and a range of products to keep your customers safe during the wild months ahead.

Slip and trip accidents increase during the Autumn and Winter season for a number of reasons: there is less daylight, leaves fall onto paths and become wet and slippery and cold weather spells cause ice and snow to build up on paths. There are effective actions that you can take to reduce the risk of a slip or trip. Regardless of the size of your site, always ensure that regularly used walkways are promptly tackled.

Many slip accidents occur at building entrances as people entering the building walk in rainwater. If warning cones/floor signs are used, remember to remove them once the hazard has passed or they will eventually be ignored.

Often, the problem for outdoor workers is not when they are working, but when they aren’t. Providing workers with suitable personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect from the cold, wet, wind and dark can go a long way to keeping workers comfortable during extreme conditions.

The key is to identify the thermal, elemental and environmental hazards before selecting appropriate workwear and PPE. Research the properties of the PPE - is it waterproof, thermal, breathable, windproof and visible?

A winter driving policy can help employers to manage expectations of employees and provide guidance and advice on how to minimise the risks encountered in wintry conditions. In addition keeping company premises/car parks clear of snow/ice by gritting or providing covered walkways and highlighting safe pedestrian routes can go a long way to keeping a business operational.

Encourage and train staff to carry out pre-drive checks of their vehicles before their journey to work - check tyre treads, windscreens, lights etc are in good condition and consider winter kits for vans or cars, which might include blankets, snow shovels, protective shoes (or ice grips), grit and high vis jackets.

The winter months can often see an increase in absenteeism due to ill health, ranging from the common cold to flu and depression. Encouraging good hygiene practices within the workplace can help prevent the spread of germs

As the winter draws in and the days become shorter, darker and colder we can all admit that it makes us feel a little bit down and miserable. SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a type of depression that affects 10% of the population and we shouldn’t underestimate the significant effect it can have on the way we feel both physically and mentally

Now is the time to highlight the dangers of speeding and promote your range of speed restricting safety signs and products.

Want to check them out for yourself? Head over to Caledonia Signs and search for "Speed".