As the colorful months of fall approach, many businesses are already gearing up for the cold temps by purchasing equipment and implementing winter weatherization throughout their facilities.
With nights getting chilly and the possibility for pre-winter storms arising in late autumn, most brick and mortar shops aren’t taking the chance that they’ll be left unprepared. Early seasonal preparation is becoming increasingly popular as more business owners are becoming aware of the financial and structural dangers that severe weather and natural disasters can pose. From planning cleanup to protecting equipment and buildings from the elements, companies are taking safeguarding precautions to ensure continuity during normal hours of operation regardless of the conditions inside.
1. Planning for quick snow removal
Perhaps the most important step towards keeping a business open throughout the winter is to ensure immediate access to a commercial snow removal service. A popular example would be Schill’s Landscaping (www.schilllandscaping.com). Making the mistake of trying to have one of the employees do this job independently is going to take much longer than the alternative of calling in a professional team to come out first thing in the morning. Making arrangements with a snow removal service ensures that the business is able to be among the first to re-open its doors after a heavy snow storm.
2. Avoiding ice accidents
Many businesses are also stocking up on de-icing products or investing in landscaping that will make their walkways less prone to ice buildup. Slip and falls present a major risk in icy conditions, so businesses in the northern climates need to take this aspect of winter preparation very seriously to avoid unnecessary employee or customer injuries and the possibility of subsequent law suits or worker’s comp claims. Employees should be instructed to always wear slip resistant shoes during the winter months, and businesses should have basic barricading and hazard marking equipment to cordon off icy spots as needed.
3. Keeping the building heated efficiently
In addition to combating the safety risks presented by ice and snow, businesses are also taking steps to improve the energy efficiency of their heating systems, upgrading equipment and weatherizing the facility by installing new insulation, sealing heat leaks, and improving the flow of hot air throughout the building. Studies have shown that a cold workplace can lead to more employee sick days, especially during the winter months. Thus, keeping customers and the workforce warm and dry throughout the day without spending more than necessary on energy expenses is a must.
Early preparation is key
Winter weather conditions present a number of business health and safety risks that should be addressed well before the season arrives. Larger companies are especially urged to take steps early on in order to reduce the likelihood of suffering financial or structural losses due to poor energy efficiency, weather damage, or an employee or customer injury, as waiting until the colder months will undoubtedly result in higher costs and lower availability for the products and services that are most needed.