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Staying Safe at Work this Winter

When Injuries occur, they are bad for people and bad for business. This winter you should take every necessary precaution to protect your employees and make sure everyone has a safe winter season. Make a review of your current safety procedures and range of personal protective clothing and enhance them to cover the additional risks of cold temperatures and difficult or dangerous conditions. Here are some guidelines for making sure that your employees are adequately prepared for working safely in the winter months.

Appropriate footwear

The first benefit of good quality winter footwear is that you have less chance of slipping and falling. Falls on ice are notoriously dangerous and even though this is a simple accident the resulting injuries can be quite serious. Good quality winter footwear will also protect feet from frostbite or chilblains.

Make sure all workers have their winter shoes well before they are needed. Whether you provide the shoes or want people to purchase and start wearing them this should be done well in advance.

First Aid Training

Everyone’s first aid training gets rusty. As winter approaches and accidents are more likely make sure employees are brushed up on their training. Double check and refresh first aid supplies in your business. Arrange for employees to practice first aid in supervised sessions. It is one thing knowing what to do but additional practice allows people to avoid hesitation if and when there is a need to act quickly.

Coats and thermal wear

Good quality winter coats are a must in cold conditions. If the weather in the work environment is particularly bad then employees may need to wear specialist thermal clothing or use layers to keep warm. Make sure everyone is kitted out and prepped well ahead of time.

The types of personal protective wear your employees need will be determined by your business and the risks facing employees in the colder weather. You need to decide whether the clothing should be waterproof, insulated or paired with items such as goggles or safety harnesses. The types of personal protective clothing needed may vary from employee to employee depending upon their exact role. Take the time to explain what is required to all employees and double check that everyone has the appropriate protective wear before they start work.

Always be accounted for

Working in groups or pairs is a great way to always know that everyone is safe. If a problem arises it can be dealt with quickly and effectively. The longer someone is left unattended after even the smallest injury the worse the outcome can potentially be. People are often better at taking care of others before themselves and working in groups makes sure no-one takes any unnecessary risks. If everyone feels safer they can focus on their work much more effectively.

Hot drinks

Think about making it easier for your employees to access hot drinks like tea and coffee throughout the day and on breaks. Hot drinks help everyone stay warm.

Extra calories

These days everyone wants to stay in shape and watch their weight. In winter however extra calories are needed to provide energy in the cold conditions. Make employees aware of good food choices for the climate and if you have a canteen provide and promote winter friendly dishes like potatoes and stew or pasta with chicken.

High visibility

Due to the lower window of light on winter days employees can be either working or traveling to and from work in low light conditions. Explain the benefits of or provide appropriate high visibility wear for employees.

Cheery environment

Winter can be hard physically and this affects mood and morale. Many people even experience depression when the winter season rolls around.

Make an effort to brighten the workplace up during the winter months. Encourage people to decorate or bring in home cooked goods. Maybe you can arrange weekly events such as a raffle. Happier employees are more productive employees. Give everyone a boost this winter by making your company a pleasant place to work.

The thought of winter approaching fills most people with dread. Months of low temperatures and dark skies are not appealing to anyone but they can be offset by efforts to make the work environment cheerier. With your employees in a good mood at work and feeling receptive you are perfectly placed to implement winter health and safety measures like first aid refresher courses and the introduction of protective wear. These measures make sure everyone is safe at work this winter. 

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