As adults, snow days are few and far between, which means most of us still have to make our way into the office, despite New England’s miserable winter weather. While you can’t stop the snow, ice and wind from coming, there are a few things you can do to ensure that your Boston office is a safe haven for you and your colleagues. To reduce the risk of winter workplace accidents and unhappy employees, follow these 5 winter safety tips for the office.
Winter Office Safety
Treat Exterior Walkways
To help melt ice on slippery walkways, keep a bag of rock salt and a shovel by any doors that lead outside, and use kitty litter to provide temporary traction. If you work in a pet-friendly office in the Boston area, consider using an alternative to rock salt, such as sand, as the salt can irritate a dog’s paws.
Use Non-Skid Mats in Entranceways
Tile and epoxy floors, often found in Boston’s commercial buildings and offices, can become slippery when wet, so use non-skid mats and runners in entranceways to prevent slips and falls, and trap slush and dirt. It’s also a good idea to use caution signs to warn colleagues and customers of potentially slippery floors.
Practice Safe Walking
Always walk slowly and carefully in appropriate footwear, and watch out for black ice. Test potentially slick spots by tapping them with your foot, and step as flat-footed as possible on icy areas. If walkways appear to be untreated, opt for grassy areas instead, and avoid uneven surfaces, such as steps and curbs, whenever possible.
Keep Your Hands Free
We’re not suggesting you remove your gloves and mittens, in fact, we highly recommend you use them to avoid frostbite when brushing snow from your car, but we are recommending that you avoid carrying items and walking with your hands in your pockets. You’ll need your hands free to catch yourself if you fall, so use a backpack and walk with your arms at your sides to help with balance.
Have a Plan
Follow weather reports and have a plan for letting employees know when the office is closed. If working from home is a possibility, make sure your plan clarifies who may work from home, how they can connect to the office remotely, and what tasks you expect them to complete. Likewise, if there is a power outage during business hours, employees will need to know if and how they are expected to continue work.
Bonus Tip: If space heaters are allowed in the office, ensure colleagues are educated on proper use. To avoid fires, nothing should be placed within 3 feet of a heater, and all heaters should be powered off and unplugged when not in use.
More Boston Office Tips
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