Winter risk management advice for businesses

27th November, 2018

Winter is fast approaching; the temperatures are plummeting and the nights are drawing in. Last year, we saw heavy snowfall, violent storms and flooding. Whatever winter throws at us this year, it is important your business is protected and prepared.

Storms

Storms can cause damage to properties by high winds and loose debris. To minimise damage, see that your building is in good, working condition. You should check:

  • The roof – Look out for loose tiles and check that the roof doesn’t have any holes in it
  • Windows – Check windows close properly and there are no cracks
  • Gutting and drains – Ensure gutting and drains are not blocked  
  • Outdoor furniture – Make sure all outdoor furniture is secure
  • Canopies and outdoor signs – Ensure they are secure
  • Trees – If trees are nearby, watch out for thick branches and old or weak trees falling.

Flood

Flooding is commonplace in the UK, especially in Nottinghamshire and other flood prone zones. Click here to read more about our preventive flooding tips.

We also recommend having an emergency Flood Kit available on your premises, packed with enough food, water and blankets, should your premises be near a flood zone and risk flooding.

Snow

After all the unexpected snow last year, that caused havoc nationwide, we won’t be surprised if it happens again. Just like preparing for a storm, you should check your building if we are expecting heavy snowfall. This is because when snow melts it will produce more water than can cause many risks, such as water escape, flooding and more.

Snow can also create hazardous conditions in the workplace so it is important to have procedures in place to ensure optimum safety. Consider sending employees home if snow begins to fall quickly and thick.   

Ice and freezing temperatures

It is important to maintain a temperature of 15 degrees, even when you are not there, so your pipes do not freeze and cause issues such as bursting. It is also important to ensure your employees work in a comfortable temperature. If portable heaters are used, ensure they are always switched off when unattended and that they have been tested.

Grit pathways and walkways to prevent slipping. Where possible, use salt to do this and avoid using hot water to de-ice as it may re-freeze.

Christmas decorations

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! It is natural to want to get into the Christmas spirit but ensure your electrical and light decorations:

  • Have been tested
  • Do not overcrowd or overload a socket
  • Aren’t where people can trip or fall over them
  • Are switched off completely when you leave the premises
  • Do not obstruct lighting or alarms.


Insurance

Whilst having Business Insurance cannot prevent things from happening, it can help you when things go wrong and can help you get back on track as quickly as possible.

Speak to us if you feel you require additional covers to your insurance, such as Flood Insurance or Property Damage.

Winter driving to work

  • Ensure you allow enough time to take things slower
  • Completely de-ice the car before setting off
  • Use busy roads that are likely to have been thoroughly gritted
  • Reduce your speed in hazardous conditions
  • Remember stopping distances increase in bad weather conditions
  • If the weather is too dangerous, stay at home
  • Have an emergency kit in the car if you get stranded, containing water, food and blankets 


General winter safety tips for businesses and employees

  • Ensure enough lighting both indoors and outdoors as it gets darker much earlier in winter
  • Check walk and pathways every day for ice
  • If your employees work outdoors or in low temperatures, supply suitable PPE
  • Retain a comfortable working temperature
  • Be mindful of illness and dangerous weather conditions. 


It is better to prepare your business for winter. Get in touch if you require some risk management advice and assistance on 0115 973 4437 or email insurance@routenchaplin.co.uk.

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