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Winter Safety: Tips to Protect Customers & Employees

Operating a business in the rough winter months can present additional challenges for companies, employees and customers. Luckily, there are a few simple things you can do to remedy winter weather situations and help keep customers and employees safe in the season known for slips and falls. All it takes is a little planning, vigilance and the cooperation of your staff and business partners. Use the simple checklist below of five top winter safety tips for the workplace from ServiceMaster Clean.

Winter Safety Checklist for Businesses

Clear walkways of snow and ice.
Make sure your parking lot, sidewalks and other outdoor passages are always free from snow and ice. Consider asking neighboring businesses to do the same to help contribute to the accessibility of public areas. If the weather calls for snow or freezing temperatures, put down salt the night before as a precaution, and consider hiring a snow removal service for heavy storms. Of course, you should also remind employees to drive cautiously on their way to and from work.

Have an emergency kit.
No one likes the idea of being stuck at work, but if you do end up stranded during a winter storm, make sure you have specific safety and survival essentials on hand. Along with a traditional first aid kit, your emergency kit should include a battery- or solar-powered radio, flashlights, thermal blankets, and clean water and non-perishable food to last everyone at least three days.

Use your caution signs and stay compliant.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has certain requirements and standards for walking and working surfaces and hazard signs. Make sure your walkways and signage are OSHA compliant so you can alert people when surfaces are wet or slippery. Put up caution signs as soon as a hazard is identified, and make sure they can be easily seen by anyone walking through the area.

Put down absorbent floor carpets and mats.
If you know your staff or customers will track in melting snow or ice, make sure your business is equipped to keep the moisture at bay with absorbent floor carpets and mats that can contain excess water and mud. Place mats at all entrances and exits to prevent as many slips and trips as possible. If you find standing water on the floor, have it mopped up right away.

Remind employees to wear the right footwear.
Remind employees to wear the shoes they need to stay safe in winter weather conditions. Insulated and water-resistant snow boots provide better traction and reliability in winter weather than regular shoes or sneakers, decreasing the risk of accidental falls. Remind employees not to rush and advise them that taking small steps can help them react to changes in traction with more control. Don't let your business become a dangerous place to work in the winter. Put these five tips into action to help ensure your building and people are properly equipped to stay safe all season long.

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