It seems Britain is rarely prepared for the arrival of bad weather. As a consequence, we often face the predictable onslaught of transport disruption, school closures, system failures and stranded communities.
More often than not working during the coldest months can sometimes feel like survival of the fittest, and the risks are tenfold for employees who have to work and drive in what might seem like the next ice-age.
These working conditions can often lead to potential hazards, with some more obvious and treacherous than others. So whether you’re working in an office with DSE, on the road, with high risk machinery or in a manual handling role, we’ve put together 7 winter safety tips to help you successfully navigate the pitfalls in and around the workplace this January.
#1 Forget the caffeine and cigarettes
Caffeine’s probably one of those things that isn’t likely to be given up anytime soon, particularly during winter when all you want is a warming beverage. But we thought we’d share this little gem of wisdom anyway, as consumption of caffeine and nicotine can increase your heart rate and may cause blood vessels to constrict – particularly when doing strenuous work during a manual job.
#2 Bring out those hands!
It’s always tempting to put your hands in a pocket on a frosty morning. The problem is, keeping your hands in your pockets increases the risk of you losing balance – particularly on the slippery walk to the car. So if you’re wanting to avoid a bruised ego or sprained wrist for the new year fitness class – bring out those hands!
#3 Survival Kit
Before going on the road it’s wise to make sure you have your survival kit ready. Should you get stranded down a country lane in three ft. of snow, these items could very well be the difference between life and death. So make sure you’re well supplied before setting out and swat-up on the 11 essentials to a survival kit here.
#4 Warm up before driving
It always pays to warm up before exercising as it helps to prevent injury and get the body prepared for a workout and this applies to your vehicle too. Warming up your vehicle helps reduce moisture condensation on the inside of the windows, making for better visibility as well as a nicely toasted car. Remember not to warm up your vehicle in a confined space though!
#5 Office Temperature
If you’re chilly at work your focus will likely be on how to get warm instead of how best to complete the task at hand. It’s therefore vital to have a comfortable working environment, so put on that extra jumper and find out where the thermostat is. Or perhaps more importantly – buddy up to whoever controls the thermostat to make sure they keep the workplace cozy!
#6 Eat well
Watching what you eat and drink can be very difficult, particularly when over-indulgence has run rampant during the festive season. But eating a heavy meal during the working day can leave you feeling low, bloated and sluggish. Instead, save it for the weekend and warm yourself up with a cup of green tea instead.
#7 Stay healthy
It’s important to note that more people get ill during the winter months than at any other time of the year, with flu, colds and in worse cases – pneumonia being common place.
Whilst it’s sometimes near impossible not to get sick when everyone else is, it’s important to do what you can to prevent illness by taking time out to exercise and medicate as appropriate. As we all know, health is the number one ingredient to happiness!
Still too cold? We have a wealth of useful winter safety advice on our website to help you stay safe during winter. And if you’re interested in learning more about any of our health and safety training courses to keep your workplace safe, call us on 0124 248 2233 or view them on our website.