Winter is one of the most dangerous times of year. Hazardous weather conditions led to over 40,000 workplace injuries in 2014 alone. Don’t add your crew to those numbers! Here are a few ways you can prevent wintertime slips at work.
Hire Reliable a Snow Removal Service
It’s not fair to your employees or customers to keep unmaintained outdoor areas during the winter. If your business has a parking lot or large exterior areas, snow removal is a fact of life.
Your janitorial staff might be able to accomplish some of the task. However, for commercial spaces with a lot of outdoor room, you will likely need to hire extra help. Don’t be afraid to do this even if it will cost you some money. Depending on the service, snow removal costs between $40 and $200 per hour.
Cleanup Wet Floors
Your outdoor space isn’t the only area where slips might occur. It’s also quite likely that someone can hurt themselves inside your establishment. Ice gets tracked into buildings during the winter. When this melts and becomes sitting water, it can be dangerous for pedestrians.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over one million Americans suffer a slip-and-fall injury each year. This includes customers and coworkers, so make sure someone is consistently monitoring and clearing water from indoor spaces.
Have a Plan in Place
Truth be told, you can’t avoid every accident. Even with the best preparations, someone could still get hurt on your business property. This is why it’s smart to have good general liability insurance to cover customer or coworker injuries.
If someone does get hurt, the first thing you should do is check their safety. Determine whether it’s necessary to call an ambulance, or if the issue can be solved with first aid. Include this information in your employee handbook during orientation, so everyone is kept in the loop. Being negligent is one of the ways your company can get sued for a winter slip. Fortunately, most business insurance policies will assist you will legal fees of this nature; but it never hurts to double check with your policy provider.
Educate Employees about Workplace Safety
You can’t force customers to be careful on slippery surfaces but you can train your staff to spot slippery floors before they become a problem. It’s all about anticipation. Wet entryways and tile floors are treacherous areas; especially when workers or customers are carrying packages or shopping bags. Have someone regularly cleanup these areas with a dry mop and place warning signs in problem areas.
Have Essentials on Hand
If you live in an area that gets battered by heavy winter storms, you need a few essentials. Having salt, snow shovels, and other items on hand will help you maintain a safer work environment. Make a habit of salting icy walkways and cordoning off slippery surfaces.
Winter can be a beautiful time of year. However, it can also be a time for complete weather mayhem. This often ends up being a nightmare for business owners. Be proactive and think about how you can prevent winter slips and falls.