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A gritty winter’s tale

Keeping your workplace safe over winter

Author: Sharon Ensbury/16 October 2015/Categories: HEALTH & SAFETY, Creating safe working conditions

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Winter is coming. Oh, I don’t mean vengeful Starks and ice giants and Wildlings – rather an onslaught of snow and ice and freezing rain coming down from the north. It’s a different kind of magic that winter brings, one that makes pavements and car parks such dangerous places, turning vehicles into weapons and unwitting pedestrians into ice dancers.

Keeping your outdoor spaces clear of snow and ice, or at least making sure they are safe to walk on, is part of your ongoing business maintenance over winter. And with predictions of a long cold season, it’s a good idea to plan ahead and make sure you have everything in place to keep your staff and site visitors safe.

According to the Health and Safety Executive, slip and trip accidents are far more common during winter months due to a variety of factors, most of which can be easily managed. Keep walkways clear of wet leaves, ice and snow by regular clearings or by gritting, which should be done when ice or snow is forecast, so the grit has time to dissolve into the moisture on the floor. Therefore, gritting either in the evening or early morning, after staff leave or before they arrive on the premises, is the most effective method. Lighting is another thing to consider – winter evenings fall early, often meaning that employees arrive and leave work in darkness. Ensuring that car parks and pathways are well lit not only makes them safer, it also highlights any trip hazards, obstacles or icy patches.

So before it gets too cold, go outside. Take a look around. Walk where your employees walk. Identify any potential areas that might need attention once winter comes, and ensure you have the health and safety equipment for winter to deal with it. Action Handling carry a range of grit and salt spreaders and bins to suit a variety of budgets, as well as a selection of dock lights suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Don’t be like Jon Snow, and ‘know nothing.’ After all, staff safety is everyone’s responsibility.

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