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Wet, Windy Winter: Here's How You Can Weather-Proof Your Business



By Business Desk




Tuesday, October 24, 2007.




With winter around the corner you need to be asking yourself- ‘is my business ready?’ Particularly if it’s your first winter in business since there are a couple of concerns that are especially prevalent at this time of year. As well as being cold, dreary and generally unpleasant at times, winter weather can present a number of risks and challenges to your company. Here are a few of them to take into consideration.



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Keep Health and Safety in Mind

It’s no surprise that snow and ice is slippery, the only problem is if it’s slippy on your premises it could spell bad news for your business. If someone slips and hurts themselves on your property, you will be considered liable and could end up with a lawsuit on your hands. It’s advisable to display warning signs, clear snow and ice and put down salts to prevent slipping. Making sure the area around your business is properly lit is essential for health and safety too. You could have street lighting poles installed to illuminate everything properly, and means people aren’t falling over or slipping due to bad lighting. You will also need to make sure your workplace is the right temperature. For sedentary jobs, it should be at least sixteen degrees, jobs that involve a lot of activity and moving around thirteen degrees. Any lower and workers are legally allowed to leave. Get a thermometer to make sure, keeping your staff warm and happy will mean better productivity levels too.


Factor In Employee Sick Days and Bad Weather Days

During winter when it’s cold, and people are spending more time indoors means an increase in colds and flu. For this reason, you’re likely to experience some employee sick days as a result. Plan ahead for this, make sure you’re not just making deadlines since having a couple of employees out of action will mean you’re falling further behind. To cover staff sickness, you could work with an agency who will provide you, temporary workers. Bad weather preventing employees getting into work is also a possibility. If this happens, you could consider allowing them to work remotely from home. That way you’re not losing precious working hours and may still be able to stay on top of things. At the least, you won’t fall as far behind.


Get Insured Against Weather Damage

Finally, constant rain, snow, ice and gale force winds can take their toll on buildings. If you rent an office in a bigger building, this won’t be a problem, but if you own your own office you may need to factor in repair costs. Even something as simple as missing roof tiles from strong winds can then lead to leaks, damp and mould. Make sure your building (if you own it) is insured, and business contents insurance is no bad thing either. if a flood or other natural disaster destroys your office you don’t want to end up out of pocket. Backing up to the cloud rather than manual files is a smart move as even if your files or computers are damaged, the information is still safe.



Wet, Windy Winter: Here's How You Can Weather-Proof Your Business

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