In the autumn and winter months, employee and visitor safety become an increased focus. The colder, darker and wetter conditions present additional risk factors which can contribute to an increase in slips, trips and falls around the workplace.
According to the Health and Safety Executive, over 40% of all specified non-fatal workplace injuries are attributed to a slip, trip or fall. With each individual case resulting in up to 8 lost working days*.
To reduce the risks of slips on ice, frost or snow Heyn Environmental have come up with a checklist for you to follow:
Identify Risk Areas
Identify the outdoor areas used by pedestrians that are most likely to be affected by ice. For example; entrance and exits, car parks, walkways, shortcuts and especially any sloped areas. Highlight those priority routes to be dealt with first and identify if any diversion routes will need to be considered.
Monitor the Temperatures
Prevention is key to ensuring a safe environment in icy conditions. Take action when freezing temperatures are forecast.
Roles & Responsibilities
Identify who is the best person to put the winter safety plan into place should it be required. Will their work schedules align with the needs of the business for gritting and clearing snow and ice? According to HSE guidance, the best times for gritting are in early evening and/or early in the morning before employees arrive. Salt doesn’t work instantly, it needs time to dissolve into the moisture on the floor.
Winter Safety Equipment
- Leave plenty of time to check your winter safety equipment and grit salt stores before the cold weather hits. Check if your grit bins are still water tight, located in appropriate areas and accessible.
- The most commonly used method to de-ice surfaces is rock salt (plain and treated). Salt can stop ice forming and cause existing snow to melt and is the substance used on public roads by the highways authority.
- Could a manual or towable spreader help to provide faster coverage and reduce manual handling issues?
- Does the team have adequate PPE clothing or do they need any additional safety accessories?
Don’t wait for 0°C before taking action
Clear skies during a cold night can lead to ground frost even when temperatures are above 0°C. Keep checking your weather forecast and grit if you think it may be needed. Better to have surfaces prepared than to be caught out and risk an injury. When gritting slopes and uneven routes remember to pay them a little extra attention.
For advice on what equipment you might need or to place an order to replenish your stocks, please do not hesitate to get in touch on +44 (0)28 9035 0020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We have a wide range of Winter Safety Equipment listed on our website, to view CLICK HERE. If you don't see what you're looking for, please get in touch, our website shows only a proportion of our overall product range.