We know that winter is still a few months away, but it shouldn’t stop us from making the necessary preparations to ensure employee safety in the workplace. Unlike winter home preparations, workplace winter safety needs a bit more than just the typical fireplace and heater maintenance.
There are several factors to consider when implementing workplace safety protocols, whatever season it is.
Employee Winter Health and Safety Concerns
When it comes to their health and safety in the office or worksite, employees are concerned about a few things, namely:
- Worker commute and transport
- Extreme weather disturbances
- COVID protection
- Remote work safety
While the first three have been constants in workplace safety lists, the other two have become a bigger concern at this time. Regardless, all of them should be properly addressed by the management to boost employee satisfaction rates and because it is the right thing to do.
Ensuring Winter Workplace Safety
Ensuring the workplace is safe for all employees and workers during winter should be one of the top priorities on any employer’s winter-to-do list. Here are a few ways to address employees’ concerns about their health and safety this winter:
Enforce stricter safety guidelines in the office and/or worksite
Workplace safety should never be just a side issue in any company. While understandably, bringing in money is important for any company, it should never compromise workers’ health and safety, especially during this time when COVID is still wreaking havoc all over the world.
Everyone should clearly understand the importance of enforcing and following stricter company safety guidelines at this time. The management should communicate the importance of everyone coming together and complying for their safety and especially for those around them.
Devise a system that ensures the safety of both outdoor and mobile employees
Some companies also need to come up with safety protocols for workers that are mostly operating outside the office. Drivers, construction workers, farm help, linemen, and other workers that spend most of their time outside should also be considered. These people are the ones who are constantly exposed not just to the elements but to the hazards of a dynamic environment.
This should be carefully thought of and meticulously planned because different factors that affect mobile and site workers’ safety are beyond the company’s control. However, a few things within their control can be addressed, like proper and timely maintenance of vehicles, tools, and equipment used by their employees. They can also issue memos about the use of proper safety gear.
Keep everyone in the loop
As far as health and safety are concerned, one can never over-communicate. Employers, managers, and supervisors should keep in mind that their employees are the lifeline of their business. Keeping the workplace safe and secure is one of the best ways to let workers feel valued and taken care of.
They should be made aware of all the safety protocols, what changes are made, and why they are put in place. It should start from the top down to the bottom rung of the ladder and should constantly be communicated on bulletin boards, signages, emails, and meetings.
Consider remote worker safety
Nowadays, a huge chunk of the population is working remotely because of the pandemic. While remote work isn’t an entirely new concept and has been around for quite some time, it is only within the past year that companies have learned to embrace it to keep them afloat. This is the reason for the abrupt surge in the remote workforce.
Just because these people are working in their homes doesn’t mean that they are already exempt from workplace health and safety protocols. The company still must ensure that its remote employees are safe and well. While they have very little control over the actual enforcement in the remote worker’s environment, they could develop a set of remote work safety guidelines.
Keep an eye on other potential hazards
On top of the typical threats that wintertime brings, one should also watch out for other things or events that could be a hazard to workers.
For instance, if faulty wiring is spotted or a gas leak is detected in an office area, it should be immediately addressed and fixed to prevent any accident or mishap. Or perhaps if the weather forecast predicts a very strong blizzard fast approaching, the necessary precautions should already be put in place to prevent endangering workers’ lives.
Being vigilant and taking swift action can help prevent workplace accidents and worker injuries.
Workplace safety should never be compromised regardless of the season. It should be kept as a top priority for a business to thrive, especially amid a pandemic.