Keeping Your Field Employees Safe During Winter

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  • Provide proper winter gear for outdoor staff, such as insulated jackets, waterproof boots, and snow gear.
  • Develop a safety protocol for extreme weather conditions to ensure employee safety.
  • Inspect vehicles regularly to ensure they are road-safe during winter months.
  • Periodically provide breaks from cold temperatures and extra blankets or coats as needed.
  • Encourage staff communication and coordinate responses quickly with a designated person back at the office.

The employment rate in the United Kingdom has steadily been on the rise and was estimated at a high of 75.7 percent from November 2022 to January 2023, an increase of 0.1 percentage points compared to the preceding three-month period. This surge can be attributed to part-time personnel and self-employed persons across the country who are actively participating in work opportunities available to them.

If you have field employees who work outside year-round, you know that winter can pose unique challenges. With cold temperatures, ice and snow, and dangerous conditions, it’s essential to ensure your employees are safe while in the field. Here are some tips to help keep your field employees safe during winter.

Set of winter clothing for a female field employee.

Providing Proper Gear

The first step is to make sure that your staff has all the proper gear they need to stay warm and dry while they’re out in the field. This includes gloves, hats, and boots with good traction. It’s also a good idea to provide hand warmers or pocket heaters for those working outdoors for extended periods.

Insulated Jacket

The business can issue durable men’s down jackets to its employees on the field. Wearing these insulated jackets ensures they stay warm while working outside during cold weather. Of course, employees should also be provided with a good set of waterproof boots to keep their feet dry.

Snow Gear

Finally, if you’re working in an area where ice and snow can be present, staff must have the right gear to stay safe while on the job. This might include add-ons such as cleats, ice picks, and crampons. It’s also a good idea to provide shovels or snowblowers for those working in areas of heavy snowfall.

Providing the right gear ensures that your staff stays comfortable while they’re out on the job and keeps them safe. Don’t skimp on quality when it comes to cold-weather gear!

Developing a Winter Weather Protocol

It’s also essential to have a protocol in place for dealing with extreme weather conditions like icy roads or heavy snowfall. This should include guidelines on when it is too dangerous for employees to be working outside and how employees should proceed if they encounter dangerous conditions while on the job. Ensure everyone knows what to do if an emergency arises and no one else is around to help. Consider providing extra safety gear or cold-weather clothing for those working in such conditions.

Inspect Vehicles Regularly

For vehicles, it’s essential to inspect them regularly for any signs of wear and tear that may put employees in danger during the winter months. Ensure all tires are properly inflated and replace worn-out ones before they become a hazard on the road. It’s also essential to make sure all exterior lights are functioning correctly, and that auto parts like windshield wipers, antifreeze, and other fluids are at proper levels.

Periodic Breaks

For employers who have staff who work in extreme cold temperatures or use heavy machinery outside, it’s crucial to provide periodic breaks for those employees to prevent frostbite or hypothermia. Ensure there are warm and dry places where employees can take a break from the cold and hydrate if necessary. Provide extra blankets and coats if needed, as well as hand warmers to help keep hands and feet warm while working outdoors.

Employees attending a virtual meeting at home.

Encouraging Staff Communication

Your staff must communicate with each other while they are out in the field so that everyone is aware of what is going on at all times. Encourage your staff members to check in frequently with each other throughout their shifts so that no one gets left behind if something unexpected occurs.

Coordinate Communication

Additionally, having a designated person back at the office who can coordinate responses quickly can help ensure that any safety issues are immediately resolved. This can also be beneficial for staying in contact with customers and quickly respond to any inquiries or requests. Finally, setting up a team messaging app can make it easy for your staff members to communicate without moving away from their work sites. An efficient communication system is critical for keeping your teams safe and productive.

Having field employees working outdoors during winter can be tricky. But with the right preparation and protocols, you can ensure their safety even during inclement weather conditions. Taking steps like providing proper gear, developing a winter weather protocol, and encouraging staff communication can help keep your team safe this season so you can focus on running your business without worry!

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