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Preparing Your Organization for Winter

Originally posted on http://www.accidentfund.com

With winter fast approaching, we’re once again rolling out our S.A.F.E.: Slip and Fall Elimination campaign to help your business prepare for changing weather conditions. With tools like our Winter Weather Preparedness Guidebook and our other great S.A.F.E. materials, you’ll be well-prepared for what to do when winter weather strikes.

Get out in front of the storm

Every company should have a written program that outlines the procedures in place for monitoring changes to winter weather conditions, as well as the process of communicating severe weather advisories and alerts to employees. The program should include important information covering:

  • The types of alert systems used
  • Employee responsibilities
  • Communication and notification systems
  • Facility closing procedures and call in phone numbers
  • Information technology systems used
Stay safer this season

Before winter arrives, we encourage you to think about how best to prepare your business for the winter season. There are a variety of things to think about before the first snowfall, including:

  • Ensuring you have access to weather advisory alert systems.
  • Tuning up snow blowers and other snow removal equipment.
  • Having a plan in place when off-premise work is necessary.
  • Maintaining a supply of salt and other ice melters.
  • Obtaining proper footwear for the winter season.
  • Putting entryway mats and housekeeping supplies in place.

Once winter is upon us, practice the safety precautions below, and encourage your employees to do the same, so winter weather-related injuries can be reduced or avoided altogether:

  • Walk carefully on snowy or icy sidewalks.
  • If you’re responsible for shoveling snow, be extremely careful, as it’s physically strenuous work. Take frequent breaks. Avoid overexertion, since heart attacks from shoveling heavy snow are a leading cause of deaths during winter.
  • When travelling by car, keep the gas tank full to prevent your fuel line from freezing. Always let someone know your destination, the route you are taking and when you expect to arrive.
  • If you do get stuck, stay with your car — don’t try to walk to safety.
    • Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna for rescuers to see.
    • Start the car and use the heater for about 10 minutes every hour and keep the exhaust pipe clear so fumes don’t back up in the car.
    • Leave the overhead light on when the engine is running so you can be seen.
    • As you sit, move your arms and legs to keep blood circulating and stay warm.
    • Keep one window cracked open to let in air.
  • After the storm, avoid driving until conditions have improved — listen to local radio and television stations for updates.