Winter Season Risk Reminders for Small Businesses

Winter is approaching fast. Much faster than many people, small business owners included, would like. Along with colder weather, comes a whole host of other issues small business owners must take care of in order to properly prepare. Here are a few of the things you’ll need to prepare for before winter hits hard and heavy.

Ice Removal and Snow Plowing

Hire a professional plowing service to handle the snow removal for you. The sooner you book the better. Most businesses work out a seasonal arrangement and dependable plow drivers tend to book well in advance. Avoid the temptation to have an employee do this. You’re opening yourself up to a wide range of potential trouble if they injure themselves as a result or if a customer is injured as a result of the job your employee did. Don’t forget to arrange for the plow drivers to salt and remove snow from the driveways and parking lots as well as the sidewalks and entryways.

Heating Unit Checkup and Checklist for Employees

Not only is it important that all employees know how to properly operate your heating system, they also need to know what to do in case of an emergency that relates to the heating unit. Before the winter season kicks into high gear, though, it is a good idea to arrange for a full inspection of your heating equipment. You also need to go through and clear any potential obstructions that may block the heating grates. Avoid space heaters. The risks far outweigh the potential benefits or temporary warmth they may provide.

Create a Company Policy for Winter Safety in the Workplace

Your primary goal in the winter months should be to provide your employees and customers a safe place to work and/or shop. This means that you need to have a comprehensive and clearly stated policy and procedures guide to put into action when winter weather arrives. This policy should include specific details on:

  • How to deal with wet floors
  • What kinds of signs to put up and where these signs should be placed
  • Where workers should turn to find out if you’re open for business
  • Early closing procedures (when necessary)
  • Late opening procedures (when necessary)
  • School closing procedures
  • Employee communication policies

The bottom line is that there are a lot of small things to remember when winter weather hits. Written policies make it much easier for all employees to know their roles and responsibilities when it does. Try to create a policy that covers every conceivable contingency, but be willing to adjust policies and procedures as needed to ensure the safety of one and all. Safety is, after all, the number one priority when temperatures drop and conditions become hazardous.