Statistics proves that there are a lot of work-related accidents at this time of year and that there is a link to the change of day light hours, darker morning and evenings and harsher weather conditions.
We can significantly reduce the potential for accidents by being more attentive and by putting adequate measures into place.
Here are a few pointers for you:
Plant and equipmentCheck lighting – you may have to change some timers on plant and equipment, try and install PIR lighting where possible. Heating – has equipment been serviced are the timers correct for this time of year. Did the timer automatically changed with the change of daylight hours Torches – are they available for your workforce if required. Test to ensure they are in working order. Do you have a good stock of batteries or a working recharging station?
In windy conditions ensure things are correctly strapped down.
Ground conditionsSurfaces – have they been gritted and or salted do you have adequate supplies in store. Be prepared beforehand, it is better to grit the day before any ice or snow arrives, keep an eye on the weather forecasts.
Check snow and ice equipment – is it serviceable for your workplace.
Steps and walkways – are they well maintained, free of obstructions and spillages.
VehiclesMobile plant on site and cars – make members aware that they will need more time to prepare them for the day ahead e.g., de-ice before starting any working on site or their journey to work also that they are ventilated correctly to ensure that they have the right level of visibility, that mirrors and lighting are working correctly.
Ensure tyres are well maintained, both treds and air levels as stopping distances significantly increase at this time of year.
Keep a set of emergency supplies in your vehicle, something warm and high viz.
PeopleWear appropriate footwear for the weather conditions
PPE – ensure employees are wearing their high viz clothing, to ensure they can be seen and of the appropriate size considering that people wear more layers at this time of year. It is pointless having a high viz jacket under a dark winter jacket, it must be worn above.
Physical ability – this will slow down in the cold, efficiency can reduce, hand and grip strength can be reduced due to the cold, this can lead to clumsiness. Mental facilities can be impaired. Allow more time to complete work.
Complete pre-work warmups, shorten periods of exposure and warm places to take breaks can all help at this time of year.
It can also help to have some spare sets of clothes for people to change into, have a drying room that is kept clean and tidy, so it is workable.
In windy conditions be aware of wind chill.
Keep Fingers, feet and the head warm, these are the areas that you lose the most heat.
In some countries all of these come as second nature unfortunately in the UK it hits us hard when the bad weather comes so this year let’s try and be more prepared.
If you need any assistance or just feel the need to chat through anything, please drop me a line at email@example.com
or call 01509 274000