Unfortunately, many of us have to work outside year-round despite the fact the weather can be a challenge during the winter months because of hazardous conditions such as snow and ice. The good news is there is plenty employers can do to ensure their employees stay safe.
From October through to February and often beyond, it is likely the weather will pose issues for people working outside – which is why workplaces need to have policies and measures in place to help ensure everyone avoids potential hazards.
Winter Hazards Guide At Work
Snow and Ice
Snow and ice can cause a range of problems for individuals working outside, if left untreated. It is vital employers have a plan in place for what happens when freezing conditions arrive – such measures may include scattering grit or rock salt on the pathways and working areas.
As time is often needed for the salt or grit to take effect, it needs to be deployed at the right time. Depending on the severity of the snow, it may be necessary to create temporary alternative pathways for staff to walk along safely.
The days are much shorter in the winter months and lighting can be a potential hazard for those working outside. Employers need to plan for the changing light and ensure the lighting around the workplace and where staff are walking a lot are sufficiently lit.
A risk assessment will need to be carried out to make sure places have sufficient lighting throughout the working day.
Mud and Leaves
When the leaves fall from the trees and the ground gets mulchy and muddy, it can become slippery and treacherous for people walking on it. Employers need to have a process for removing leaves and mud from walkways and paths to ensure they don’t become slippery and potentially dangerous.
The build up of rain water on a pathway or in the entrance of a workplace can create a slip hazard. Employers need to ensure a suitably absorbent, non-slip flooring is in place in the areas that need them.
How We Can Help You With Your Accidents At Work Claims
Preventative measures put in place by employers will help ensure staff can work outdoors in winter in a safe way. Whilst there will always be times when accidents occur due to unforeseen circumstances, employers have a duty of care to keep employees safe at work and should put preventative measures in place to keep staff protected in the workplace during winter.
If you’ve been injured at work due to no fault of your own, our personal injury solicitors will advise and guide you on what you can do about this – and whether you can make a claim for compensation.
We will take the time to fully understand the circumstances of your workplace accident, and should you decide to go ahead with a claim will ensure we do everything possible to secure the compensation you deserve.