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Winter maintenance checklist for UK businesses

Winter means more than cold weather and Christmas. It's a time for businesses to prepare their facilities to make sure staff stay safe, efficient and comfortable. The checklist below covers essential aspects from HVAC systems to safety protocols, helping you brace your business for the colder months.

industrial warehouse

Why workplace maintenance matters

Workplace maintenance during winter is important for many reasons. Firstly, it makes sure that employees and visitors stay safe. Winter conditions can lead to hazards such as slippery walkways and frozen pipes, which can cause accidents and injuries. Regular maintenance, like gritting paths and inspecting heating systems, can reduce these risks. Secondly, it's about keeping things running smoothly. Winter can be tough on your building, putting a lot of pressure on everything from your heaters to the roof. Staying on top of maintenance means you’ll be less likely to be caught off guard by sudden breakdowns.

Plus, when your workplace is well looked after, your team will feel better and get more work done. And don't forget about saving money - fixing small issues before they become big headaches can save you a lot on repairs and downtime. So, keeping up with winter maintenance isn't just about playing it safe; it's a smart move for your business's safety and bottom line.

What a winter maintenance checklist should include

When prepping your business for winter, think about everything, inside and out, to keep things safe, running smoothly, and comfortable. Start with a good once-over of your HVAC systems to make sure they're working right and not eating up your energy bill. Don't forget to salt those walkways and parking spots to stop people from slipping on ice. Make sure your roof and gutters are in good shape, too, so you don't get any nasty leaks or damage when it starts snowing or raining hard.

Inside, put down some anti-slip tape in high-traffic areas, and double-check that your emergency lights and backups are ready to go, just in case. Also, kit out your team with winter workwear, like waterproof, non-slip boots and have some oil-filled radiators handy, but make sure they have a safety tip-over switch that automatically switches off the heater if it falls over.

Wrap up those pipes to stop them from freezing and look at your insurance to make sure you're covered for winter. Tailor your checklist to tackle winter head-on, focusing on keeping everyone safe and keeping the business ticking over.

Here are ten things to include in your winter maintenance checklist:

1. HVAC system inspection and maintenance

Key actions:

  • Schedule a professional inspection of your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems
  • Replace or clean filters to improve air quality and system efficiency
  • Check for any leaks or blockages in the heating system

Benefits: Makes for a more comfortable working environment and can prevent unexpected breakdowns during peak winter times

2. Grit paths and parking areas

Key actions:

  • Stock up on grit and salt supplies
  • Plan a schedule for gritting paths, driveways, and parking areas regularly

Benefits: Reduces the risk of slips and falls on icy surfaces.

3. Prepare emergency plans and safety protocols

Key actions:

  • Review and update your emergency evacuation plans to make sure they consider potential winter hazards and ensure you have fully stocked first aid kits in case you need them
  • Carry out safety drills to make sure all employees are aware of protocols

Benefits: You'll be more prepared for winter-related emergencies like power outages or extreme weather conditions.

4. Choose water-resistant safety boots

Key features:

  • Water-resistant to keep feet dry in wet conditions
  • Wide fitting for comfort, especially during long working hours
  • S3 SRC certification ensures slip resistance and safety

Benefits: Protects employees from slips and falls, a common hazard in winter due to icy or wet conditions.

5. Install safety grip anti-slip floor tape

Key actions:

  • Apply safety grip anti-slip floor tape in areas prone to slips, like entrances, staircases and walkways

Benefits: Provides extra grip on surfaces, reducing the risk of slip-related accidents in the workplace.

6. Check and repair roofing and guttering

Key actions:

  • Inspect roofs for any damage or weak spots
  • Clean gutters and downpipes for better drainage

Benefits: Prevents leaks and structural damage caused by snow and rain build-up.

7. Insulate pipes and water systems

Key actions:

  • Insulate pipes to prevent freezing and bursting
  • Check the insulation on hot water systems to maintain efficiency

Benefits: Avoids water damage and maintains a consistent water supply

8. Choose oil-filled radiators

Key features:

  • Adjustable thermostat for maintaining a constant temperature
  • Safety tip-over switch that automatically switches off the heater if it falls over

Benefits: Provide a good source of heating safely.

9. Install emergency lighting and power backup

Key actions:

  • Make sure emergency lighting is functional
  • Consider a power backup solution like generators for essential operations

Benefits: Keeps the workplace operational during power outages.

10. Review and update business insurance

Key actions:

  • Review your insurance policies to make sure they cover winter-specific risks

Benefits: Protects your business financially from unforeseen winter-related damages.

Prevention is key

Preparing for winter is essential for keeping your business running smoothly and for the safety of your employees. By following this checklist, you can minimise disruptions and enjoy a safe, comfortable environment for your employees and customers. Remember, prevention is always better than cure, especially when dealing with the unpredictability of winter weather. Stay warm, stay safe, and keep your business thriving throughout the winter months.

Experts on hand this winter

If you need to be better prepared for the winter season, explore our range of winter maintenance essentials available on our website. Our selection is designed to help your business operate throughout the colder months. Take a look at our other blog posts that offer valuable insights and strategies to navigate winter's challenges effectively. Filled with practical information, they're there to help you get prepared. If you need some advice, our Technical Sales Support team can provide support. Please feel free to contact us on 0808 258 0375, or email us at [email protected].

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