Don't let winter weather disrupt your office operations. Learn tips for snow removal, emergency preparedness and more for a comfortable winter season.
Winter is a time of year that brings many challenges, especially for those who live and work in a colder climate. The dropping temperatures, snow, and ice can cause many problems for office buildings and the people who work in them. However, with a little preparation, you can minimize the potential hazards and ensure that your office is safe and comfortable during the winter months for you and your team.
There are obvious safety hazards to consider like slipping and falling due to ice, but there are also tips and tricks you can use to prepare your office for the colder weather, including ensuring insulation and being prepared with emergency equipment. We will cover these topics and more in this article.
The first step in preparing your office building for winter is to make sure that it is properly insulated. This means sealing any gaps or cracks in the walls, windows, and doors to prevent drafts. Installing weather stripping around the doors and windows can also help to keep the cold out.
Drafts may not be noticeable at first, but when you have your heating set to the appropriate temperature yet your team is complaining about the cold and you can’t find the source, you’ll regret not taking weather stripping into account. When it comes to winter, it’s better to be over-prepared than too easygoing, as that’s when accidents occur.
Another crucial preparation step is to make sure that your office building's heating system is in good working condition, and schedule regular maintenance to ensure that it is running efficiently. Be proactive in keeping up with your heating systems, as it can be difficult to get a repair team out if something goes wrong in the middle of a snowstorm.
A further vital aspect of preparing for winter is ensuring that your office building's emergency systems are in proper order and ready to go. This includes things like the fire alarm system, smoke detectors, and emergency lighting. Make sure that these systems are tested regularly and that battery changes are scheduled periodically. You can track and record the inspections of your lighting checks with Lumiform’s Emergency Lighting Inspection Form.
Additionally, it's important to have a plan in place for dealing with power outages. Having backup generators or other emergency power sources can help to keep your office running in case of a power failure. This is important not only for the work being done but also for your and your team’s health and safety.
It may seem unlikely, but teams have been stuck within their offices when dangerous weather occurs for several hours after their workday; there have even been situations where employees and even customers are forced to stay overnight.
Your office management team must have a plan in place for dealing with snow and ice. Make sure that your office building's sidewalks and parking lot are cleared of snow and ice, especially black ice, in a timely manner, ideally before the majority of staff arrive for their shift. It’s also vital you keep a supply of de-icing salt on hand to melt ice and prevent slips and falls.
Consider investing in snow-removal equipment such as shovels and snow blowers, to help keep the sidewalks and parking lot clear. If it is more affordable and realistic for you to hire a maintenance person to care for your building’s exterior, then that is also a viable option.
It's also important to be aware of the potential health hazards that can come with the winter months. Cold weather can lead to an increased risk of hypothermia and frostbite, so it's important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of these conditions.
Additionally, the flu and other colds and viruses are more common during the winter months, so it's important to practice good hygiene and take steps to prevent the spread of illness. These steps are especially important when COVID-19 must also be considered.
In addition to preparing the office building, it's also important to prepare yourself and your co-workers for the winter months. This means dressing in warm, layered clothing and wearing appropriate footwear to help protect against the cold and snow. It's also a good idea to keep a supply of blankets and warm drinks on hand in case of an emergency.
Preparing for winter can seem like a daunting task, but with a little planning and preparation, it can be simplified and become an organic part of your workflow. It can be made even more optimal by implementing a digital tool that can aid you in scheduling and task management, so that you never have to worry about the status of your emergency equipment. Lumiform has over 12,000 ready-made templates for you and your employees that can ensure your winter preparation tasks are completed and you’re ready for the winter season.
By taking the time to properly insulate your office, have a plan in place for dealing with snow and ice, and ensuring that your emergency systems are in good working condition, you can help to minimize the potential hazards and disruptions that winter can bring. Encourage your team to be prepared and take care of themselves during the winter months.