Three red weather warnings have been issued by the Met Office since 2011, two of which occurred between 28th February and the 2nd March 2018, making last winter one of the most severe in a decade. Arco, the UK’s leading health and safety expert, wants to encourage individuals and business owners to prepare for the worst.
With the prolonged periods of snow last winter delivering up to 20 inches overnight in some places, and already severe flooding of up to 10ft in parts of the UK, Arco is urging businesses to plan ahead this winter. To offer assistance, the safety expert has a number of expert advice sheets available online for businesses to download, to aid in the planning, preparation and clean-up of extreme weather events including snow and flooding.
During spells of extreme weather, Arco is encouraging businesses to make it a priority to keep up with the changing forecast. There are several resources available when preparing for extreme weather, such as the Met Office weather warning service, providing warnings for rain, thunderstorms, lightning, fog, wind, ice and snow and the Environment Agency warnings for flooding which is particularly important for high-risk flood area.
Simon Abson from Arco says: “It is vital businesses ensure they are covered for when the weather turns. We want to ensure our customers are prepared and safe during the winter months, which is why we have a comprehensive range of solutions to keep workplaces both safe and open, including quality products and expert advice. The team here at Sheffield are on hand throughout the season to offer guidance to local businesses.”
The impact of flooding on a business can be devastating, not just because of the initial damage on the property and its contents but the affect it can have on safety and hygiene standards. It was estimated that the winter flooding of 2015/2016 cost the UK £1.9 billion with businesses worst hit at around £616 million that winter alone. Arco advises that it is best to take measures early to prevent this by creating a flood action plan, which includes clear instruction for vulnerable employees, a pack of useful documents and a kit of essential items if a flood should occur. By ensuring a plan is put in place early, businesses can ensure they have sufficient on-site protection, such as sand bags or flood barriers, which according to the Environment Agency, could save businesses up to 90% of the cost of flood-damaged equipment.
Snow and Ice
As 2017/18 saw extremely high levels and incidences of snow, Arco is insisting businesses plan ahead this winter by creating a business continuity plan to minimise the impact of snow and ice. This includes stocking up on the necessary workplace safety items, including de-icing salt and ensuring any spreading equipment is checked and in full working order. Arco’s expert guide to salt spreading is available to download at www.arco.co.uk/winter and provides businesses with best practice advice on salt, when it is most effective and how to spread effectively. To support this, Arco has a Salt Calculator app available on both the App Store and Google Play which can be used for a variety of purposes such as calculating the amount of salt required for each site per application or per season.
This winter, Arco has also created a free handy infographic for businesses containing: winter safety statistics, weather data, myth busters and some random seasonal facts available to download for workplaces.