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January Blues: How to Keep Your Office Safe And Warm In Winter

January Blues: How to Keep Your Office Safe And Warm In Winter
11/01/2022

Nobody likes working in the cold. Unfortunately, living and working in the UK means that we have to face bad weather, well, pretty much all the time.

However, you don’t need to rely solely on water bottles and blankets. As an employee, your workplace is responsible for keeping you safe, warm, and comfortable. There are, contrary to popular belief, laws in place regarding legal working temperature.

As employers, you are responsible for the comfort and safety of your employees. Arguments over office temperature are common, but adhering to the below list of tips and legal requirements will ensure your workers stay toasty.

Safety Tips For The Winter Season Reduce Ice And Snow Ice, snow, and sleet can make entering a workplace difficult. If your walkways and entrances are covered in ice, water, and snow, then it’s only a matter of time before someone slips.

It is well reported that 37% of accidents are from slips, trips, and falls, and this number only rises in winter.

As such, ensure entryways are gritted when snow is forecast and encourage employees to work from home on very bad days. You shouldn’t expect your employees to drive to work on days where roads are dangerous.

Pay Extra Attention To Spills Spills take on a new dimension in very cold temperatures. Year-round, we should follow a proper spill clean-up procedure, but it becomes more important in winter.

Something spilt that is exposed to cold air can quickly become ice and, as mentioned, ice contributes to the rate of slips, trips, and falls in the UK.

So, use winter to remind your staff of the spill clean-up procedure, and ensure it is foolproof for the winter months.

Consider Purchasing Winter-Specific Safety Equipment It’s a good idea to stock up on winter-specific safety equipment.

Things like foil blankets and good-quality gloves, hats and scarves can literally be lifesavers, especially if someone is caught out in the cold for too long.

Maintain Good-Quality Lighting When we think of winter, we often think of the cold. However, winter is something else, too: dark. Many arrive at work in darkness and leave in darkness. For that reason, it’s important that your workplace is well-lit and accommodating.

Ensure exits are well-lit, so workers can easily make their way out. It’s largely pointless to clear exit pathways of ice and snow, only to cover them in darkness.

Purchasing good, reliable lights helps for security, too. Workers are likely to be safer under lights and having a policy in place where the office or workplace remains illuminated until the last person leaves is recommended.

What Does The Law Say? UK law states that the temperature “must be reasonable” in the workplace. However, there is, currently, no law enforcing minimum UK legal working temperature.

However, there is guidance employers should adhere to. The government suggests a minimum of 16°C, or 13°C if employees are doing physical work.

While no law exists regarding working in cold temperatures, it can act as evidence that an employer isn’t adhering to health and safety.

In conclusion, the law suggests that employers:

Keep temperatures at a reasonable level. Provide fresh air. Employers must listen to their employees in cases where the temperature begins to infringe on health, safety and comfort.

Update Your Office Safety Keeping your office safe is a year-round effort, but winter is an especially dangerous time. Ensure your office is up to modern standards with our retail and office signs.

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