Making your Office Winter-Ready

It’s getting colder and winter is starting to present itself. As it comes closer, offices, workplaces, and other facilities need to brace for the dangers it may bring especially for those in icy and snowy areas. Aside from the cold temperature and strong winds, snowstorms are known to disrupt and bring danger to anyone’s life, making it very important to make the workplace winter-ready. 

During winter, it will be difficult to commute to work and businesses may be greatly affected. Making a plan to deal with winter can keep your business growing while keeping you and your employees safe. It can also protect your office building from the possible hazards of winter storms. 

Evaluate the Risk

Not all businesses will be affected greatly. Winter damages depend on the type of your business, the location of your office, and the address of your employees. 

Out of office business, and a construction company will be affected differently. Evaluating the risks is the first thing you should do. Evaluate the risks that your business will face if a blizzard comes. Consider the commute of your employees (will they be able to come safely to work?), potential damage to your office building (are you and your employees safe inside the building?), and the removal of snow and ice of the path walks to your office building. 

Risks in Property Damages 

Office buildings are at risk for damage during the winter season. These are the following procedures that you need to check to prevent property damage during winter:

  • Roof: Big amounts of ice and snow could put a lot of pressure on your roof which may lead to leaks and even structural damage. 

Have your roof checked to ensure that it could withstand heavy winds, snow, and ice during the winter season. 

  • Pipes: Cold temperatures could cause freezing of water. If the water inside the pipes freeze, it may lead to the bursting of pipes. Suppose this happens, gallons of water will spill and cause serious water damage. 

Make sure that the pipes in the office building are properly covered or insulated to prevent pipe bursts. 

  • HVAC System: It is important to keep your HVAC system in great condition to keep you having good indoor quality while being warm during the winter. 

Replace the filters of your HVAC and make sure the ducts, vents, coils, and other parts are clean to ensure good indoor air quality for everyone inside the facility. Get it inspected before winter and have it cleaned. 

Slip and Fall Solutions

Your employees’ safety is the most important part to consider in preparing your winter-ready office plan. It is important to make sure that safety comes first during the winter season. Here are the following tips you can take to keep your employees protected:

  • Melting snow and ice can be dangerous if not taken care of. It may cause slip and fall accidents. On average, more than 34,000 slip and fall accidents happen every year due to the winter season. These accidents will not only lead to (serious) injuries but also lawsuits. 
  • The best way to prevent slip and fall is to prepare before the winter season comes. Prepare the inside and the outside areas of your facility. 
  • Arrange for regular snow removal services. This step will keep your walkways and parking lots, as snow-free as possible. Put non-slip mats at all entrances to reduce the scattering of melted snow on the floor. Schedule regular janitorial services to help maintain the place snow-free and hazard-free.  
  • Winter storm kits: Ready your winter storm kits in case there is a severe storm. It includes a cellphone with charger, blankets, shovel, flashlight, first aid kits, flares, and other items that may be useful in case something drastic happens. 
  • Work from home arrangement: If the business activity could be done at home, allow your employees to do it at home. Make arrangements to when your employees can work from home. 

Proper Delegation

Appointing responsibilities will prevent your business from scrambling during the winter season. Having responsibilities, employees will be prepared for an unideal situation during the season. 

Assigned people for the restoration in case of any damages made by the storm. On the other hand, delegate some employees to update the team regarding the final decision when it comes to the weather news and feasible work arrangements. These will avoid confusion and miscommunication. 

Have a Clear Plan 

Having understood the possible risks of the winter weather you must make clear plans to prevent it from happening. It is important that your plan is clear and easily understood to avoid confusion or hesitation among the people involved. 

Have a plan that will make your decisions easier in case of drastic situations. Decide beforehand when or under what conditions you will close your office and have your employees work from home in case a winter flu breaks out. Prepare a checklist that would be done in case of an emergency that would include what to do before, during, and after a storm hits.

Keep Communications Open

When an emergency happens, it is important that you can be in contact with people quickly. Information should be spread out instantly if something bad happens to make a fast decision on what to do next that is why having your communication line open is important. 

Choose a method in which it can reach people easily. Is it an email, text, or call? It depends on what is the most used method of communication in your business. 

The Winter season may not be the best season for business due to its risks but these are all preventable. Evaluate the possible risks, have a plan, and open your communication lines. Call a professional to schedule cleanings during the season to keep your office safe, and well maintained.