‘Tis the Season: How to prepare office spaces for the hazards of winter

11/12/19

Workplace accidents and hazards increase in the winter months for a variety of reasons. It is darker for longer periods of time, leaves and moisture make floors slippery, and the introduction of holiday decorations can add another level of complexity to keeping employees safe. 

Last year over 34 million work days were lost due to minor illnesses such as coughs and colds and one third of these were taken over winter. Of course you cannot stop all illness but, as an employer, there are actions steps you can take to ensure your business is not affected too much by staff shortages. The first thing you can do is encourage employees to stay home when they are feeling unwell. This is because coughs and colds are easily spread and it is better to have one employee off than a whole group. 

Another preventative measure you can take is to promote good office hygiene. Recent statistics suggest that over 80% of infectious diseases are transmitted by touch, so by stocking up on hand sanitiser and other supplies, you can help reduce the spread of germs around the workplace. You might also want to consider adding boxes of tissues around the office, so that you can quickly catch sneezes when they start to happen. 

Winter is also the time of increased rainfall, frost and snow. Fallen leaves that have become wet and started to decay can create significant slip risks, inside and outside. Adequate footwear can go a long way to mitigating this risk but it is not foolproof. Slippages and falls can and will still happen, which can potentially lead to bruises, cuts and - in serious cases - even breakages. The British Standards Institute clearly establishes a standard for workplace first aid provisions, the contents of which ensure a compliant and comprehensive selection for a large range of injuries. 

With Christmas and New Year around the corner, firework-related injuries tend to rise. Injuries tend to be more common at private celebrations (such as workplaces), where trained first aiders may not be on hand to help. The most common injuries include burns and scalds to the head and hands, as well as shock and eye injuries. For very minor firework-related injuries, the provisions of a compliant first aid kit may be enough to treat any burns. Our premium burns kits, for instance, provide cooling gels and dressings to dissipate heat, reduce inflammation and begin the healing process. 

For a wide range of medical consumables that can cater to your workplace safety needs over the winter months, check out our first aid section


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