How to Prepare Your Workplace for Winter
The winter season is a busy time for most businesses, as larger crowds gather for holiday and half-yearly sales. It’s important to ensure the safety of your customers by preventing slippery floors and keeping entranceways clear of obstructions. Serious accidents and injuries could lead to expensive lawsuits, so here’s how you can prepare your workplace for winter to avoid slips, trips and falls:
Assess risk Have a look at your customer, employee and service areas and see if they’re safe or risky. When evaluating each area, ask for employee feedback and note down any safety concerns they may have. Also, analyse the benefits and costs of fixing potentially dangerous areas.
Assess floors It’s important to assess floor conditions. Look for surfaces that could cause people to slip, trip or fall. Floor surfaces that pose serious danger are those that have a curb, lip, uneven transition, steps, bad lighting, and entryways and restroom floors that can accumulate liquid.
Cover floors with mats Floor mats can prevent people from getting into slip-and-fall accidents. They can also help conserve heat by draining moisture, which keeps the surface dry. You can place nitrile rubber mats and weatherproof polypropylene mats by outdoor entrances, as these clean and trap debris from shoes. And you can put carpet entrance mats on the inside of entrances, which can dry shoes and allow people to walk on a non-slippery surface.
Here are other types of floor mats that you can use in the workplace:
a) Absorbent welcome mats These can be used in doorways, banks, bars, restaurants, small shops, arcades, corridors, hallways and commercial buildings. Vacuum them on a regular basis and clean spills and stains with a good-quality carpet cleaner.
- Nylon twist pile rubber backed mat – This absorbs moisture from spills and water from shoes. It also collects and traps debris particles such as dirt, sand and soil.
- Reinforced ribbed polypropylene rubber backed mat – It removes and traps soil and moisture from traffic. It dries shoes and wheels too.
- Diamond pattern dual-level polypropylene mat – This traps and stores moisture and debris from shoes, and reduces movement on floors.
- Environmentally-friendly cross-hatch door mat – It absorbs water from traffic, and also removes and traps dirt and soil in the mat.
- High absorbent reinforced rubber backed mat – This absorbs and contains water in the mat, as well as scraping and removing soil from shoes.
- Ribbed carpet entrance mat runner – It removes moisture and debris from shoes and wheels. It also traps particles of dirt and sand.
b) Indoor anti-slip mats These can be used in bars, restaurants, warehouses, takeaway shops, restrooms, corridors and ramps. They’re also useful in areas where people leave their wet personal belongings, like in entranceways. Clean them with a regular broom or pressure hose, or scrub them with a stiff broom and mild detergent.
- PVC loop pile mat - This traps dirt and debris from shoes and wheels. It’s also waterproof and can be used indoors and outdoors.
- Rubber safety mat with holes – It drains water, and particles fall through the mat. It also provides traction and comfort when walking or wheeling over the mat.
- Reinforced grit surface anti-slip runner – This offers comfort when walking over the mat, as well as traction in wet and icy conditions.
- Anti-slip nitrile rubber grease-resistant comfort mat with holes – It resists fats, grease, oils and chemicals and allows liquids to flow through the mat and keep the surface dry. It also provides comfort underfoot and good traction, preventing movement on floors and particles from building up.
- Grid surface moulded rubber anti-fatigue comfort mat – This provides comfort and stable footing, as well as traction and a ramp for wheels. It also drains moisture, keeping the surface dry.
Invest in crowd control Investing in a crowd control system can provide your business with several benefits, such as channelling, serving and maintaining control over big crowds. This will keep your customers happy and profits high, as well as avoid conflicts between customers.
Employ or hire maintenance and security staff Consider employing or hiring maintenance and security staff to make sure that the workplace is not only clean and dry but also safe during business hours and on busy days. Have them check entryways, medium-high traffic areas, as well as main shopping, customer service and employee areas.