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preparing for winter

How to prepare your workplace for winter

Practical products along with some simple energy-saving tips

With winter around the corner and the first frosts settling, why not start preparing your workplace for the winter ahead? There are some simple tasks to carry out that will make a big difference once the weather becomes colder.

Prepare your external areas

In Autumn, falling leaves and wet weather can cause slip hazards around paths and entranceways. The days become shorter and many of us will be arriving and leaving work in the dark. Ensure your paths are swept clear of leaves and any slippery moss or algae is removed to help avoid slips and falls. Carry out a quick external lighting test in entrances, delivery areas and car parks so employees and visitors feel safer outside in the dark.

For winter weather, you will need grit and shovels to help de-ice paths, break through ice or clear snowfall. To keep site managers and external workers seen and warm, high-vis workwear is advisable, with jackets, vests, trousers and boots offering great protection against the elements. Add a warm hat and gloves to keep workers extra protected.

Many businesses also adopt a snow policy, advising staff of the potential hazards and steps to take in the event of hazardous winter weather.

Prepare company vehicles

Not limited to company vehicles, you could also suggest to staff that they prep vehicles for winter use. This may include swapping to snow tires, making sure screenwash and antifreeze is topped up, batteries are charged, and all lights are working. Have a can of de-icer or scraper to hand for frosty mornings. You may also advise carrying a blanket, drink and a snack in the car in case of breakdowns in cold, dark weather.

Prepare inside the building

Make sure you are prepared inside for the winter. Add warning signs for slippery entrances in wet weather. Ensure stairwells are clear of unseen hazards. Consider using motion sensor lighting and make sure your first aid kits are fully stocked up.

Look after staff

Focussing on staff wellbeing in winter is a good way to help everyone stay healthy and avoid time off with illnesses. Make sure your hot drink supplies are readily available. Teas, coffee and soothing drinks such as hot chocolate will be appreciated by everyone in the winter. Ensure everyone has access to good lighting too, utilising desk lamps for focussing on task work as the days become shorter and natural light is not as readily available.

Be flexible

You could try a flexible approach to home working during the winter months to avoid staff driving in hazardous weather.  

Winter energy-saving tips

As it’s time to turn on the heat at work, make sure the workplace is comfortable for everybody. No-one wants to sit in a cold office, but with the energy crisis in full swing, many businesses may be anxious about rising bills. There are several ways you can ensure a warm working environment whilst saving pennies…

Add insulation

A poorly insulated workplace means warm air is wasted through cracks, roofs or windows and doors. Invest in good quality insulation for your building. For a cheaper fix, ensure no heat is wasted by adding draft excluders or weatherstripping to doors and windows.

Switch off policy

Thousands of Euros in energy costs are wasted each year by leaving electronic items on standby. Turn off monitors, PC’s, printers, kitchen appliances and lamps off at the wall to help save this energy.

Energy-saving lighting

A simple switch to save money on lighting costs is to swap to energy saving bulbs. Traditional bulbs lose 95% of their energy through heat loss. In contrast LED’s lose just 5%. The savings could equate to a 5% increase in your sales. LED lightbulbs last for years compared with traditional incandescent bulbs. You could also install sensors in stairwells and bathrooms so that lights are not left on accidentally or have a rota for checking rooms that are not always in use.

Appliances and tech

Switch to more efficient energy-saving appliances. For example, you may install a hot water tap in the kitchen instead of replacing the kettle, or opt for a managed print service to save wasted energy on older, less efficient printers or photocopiers.

Add a thermostat

Ensure that your workplace is set at a comfortable temperature for staff wellbeing. A programmable thermostat will ensure that the heating is not left on over the weekend and that it is set to come on in time for early birds arriving. Try turning your heating down by 1 degree which could save 10% of your bill cost on average.

Educate staff

Everyone can get involved in saving the business money. Close doors, turn off lights and only fill the kettle to what is needed for simple ways to preserve energy.

View our full range of facilities and catering products to help your workplace through the winter weather.

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