Weather can take a turn for the worst in a moment's notice. Slips and falls due to wintry conditions account for millions of dollars in losses each year. That's why it always pays to have an Emergency Response Team and a plan for dealing with the impact of a winter storm. Here are some helpful tips for effective planning.
Develop a Plan
Make arrangements with a contracted snow removal company to ensure your drives, parking lots and walkways are cleared in a timely manner. Ask if they also handle roof snow removal or if they can refer you to someone who does. Keep an updated list of emergency contact numbers that include snow removal contractors, HVAC technicians, business managers and anyone else who may need to be contacted in case of an emergency. Make sure all key personnel know where to find the list. Don't forget to obtain certification of insurance for any contractors hired.
Form an Emergency Response Team
The Emergency Response Team is responsible for alerting management to winter-related concerns. Team members should be actively monitoring the weather forecast as well as at-risk areas around the property. Tasks should include the following:
Communicate the Plan
Now that there is a plan in place, make sure that all employees are aware of their individual responsibilities. Inform them of the protocol for work closures due to bad or dangerous weather. Set up a system for disseminating information, such as a phone tree system, email blasts or group texts. If possible, try to review the plan the day before inclement weather is expected, and talk about how the plan was executed the next day everyone returns to work.
For additional information on aligning your Emergency Response Team with FEMA’s nationally supported program visit fema.gov and download their Workplace Community Emergency Response Team starter guide.
Note: These steps do not supersede local, state, or federal regulations. This blog article is for general information only and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon, for ergonomic, training or medical advice in any particular circumstance or fact situation. For more information, please contact your local Loss Control Consultant at 800.257.1900