Gearing your staff up for the dark nights and dark mornings
Shorter daylight hours naturally increase the health and safety risk for workers, especially in trades such as road working and construction. As well as preventing them to be seen due to the darker nights and mornings, poor visibility due to bad weather can also be an issue in the colder months.
The HSE reported that there were an estimated 555,000 non-fatal injuries according to self-reports in 2017/18. Alongside this, there were 71,062 employer reported incidents in the same year. The estimated self-reported cases also highlighted that approximately 24% of injuries resulted in over 7 days absence from work1. These staggering figures showcase just how much impact accidents and injuries also cost the economy - with £15 billion2 attributed to injury and ill health in the previous period.
Some of the most common accidents and injuries include:
- Slips, trips and falls on icy surfaces
- Road accidents caused by poor driving conditions
- Workers hit by falling debris such as tree branches and weak structures
- Workers struck by vehicles due to poor visibility
- Cold stress from outdoor conditions
To prevent injuries in your workplace, there are several steps to consider for improving safety during the winter months.
Provide high-visibility protective clothing
To ensure employees are adequately protected in working environments, high visibility clothing should be provided. Depending on the conditions, it may be necessary to consider clothing that has specialised technology for extra safety. phs Besafe offer a premium range of protective wear that incorporates Viz 360 technology to add an extra layer of reflective protection for low light environments. Our innovative Glow Gear range also reacts to changing levels of light and glows for up to eight hours.
Both our Glow Gear and Bright Gear ranges are also designed for durability and comfortable wear while providing maximum protection during use.
Reassess risks in the workplace
During the winter months, the health and safety risk in your business should be reassessed. There will be a range of different safety factors to consider, such as:
- Slippery surfaces due to icy or wet conditions
- Adequate lighting in and around your business premises
- Clearing debris after bad weather
Small changes can make a big difference to ensuring the safety of your staff and visitors in your premises. By re-evaluating risk assessments during the winter months, your business can improve safety levels and reduce the number of injuries.
The main areas to address include:
- Improving lighting at entrances and pathways around your premises
- Clearing paths and entrances of debris after bad weather (snow, ice, leaves etc.)
- Provide adequate protective and high-visibility clothing for workers
- Allowing adequate breaks for outdoors workers to reduce prolonged exposure to the elements
- Using non-slip mats at entrances and loading areas
- Using signage to alert workers and the public of slippery surfaces or hazards
- Conducting regular checks of your premises for weather damage that could lead to water penetration
- Ensuring all staff maintain awareness of office hygiene to prevent the spread of colds and flu
Winter safety is vital for ensuring your business runs smoothly throughout the colder months. To get the best protection for your workforce, contact us today to find out about our range of Bright and Glow Gear protective garments.