Winter Ready? Prepare while there’s still time!

by | Oct 5, 2018 | Facilities Management

How quickly time flies and we’re back into Winter Ready mode again.

Our current weather ranges from traditional autumnal to summer-like (even reaching a high of 20 degrees at the end of September!).  But lets not be fooled, bad weather approaches and we need to be ready.

In summary, 2018 has already brought us Storm Emma & the Beast from the East, bringing sub-zero temperatures and record snow falls.  Pause for a brief interlude of semi-drought weather over the summer, followed more recently by storms Ali and Bronagh.

This should be evidence enough that our facilities and our employees need to be as Winter Ready as possible.  But what does being Winter Ready actually mean that mean?

If in doubt here’s a short checklist:

  • Roofs, roof guttering and drains – Have them checked, cleared and schedule any remedial works as soon as possible.
  • Ensure HVAC Systems (Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning) maintenance is up to date and carry out any pending remedial works as soon as possible.
  • Put a plan in place for Snow & Ice Gritting – ensuring employees, visitors and contractors have safe access to and form the premises.  See the HSA (Health & Safety Authority) website – Weather Safeguards for Ice, Snow Slips ad Falls for further information.
  • Driving for Work?  ensure employees are familiar with vehicle maintenance basics and advice for driving in adverse weather conditions.  For general information on Work Related Vehicle Safety see the HSA website.  You can find more information on Driving in Winter from the RSA’s (Road Safety Authority) Safety Tips for Severe Weather Conditions.
  • Put a Winter Readiness Plan in place including:
    • Weather Report Monitoring
    • Communications plan to communicate with employees in the event of forecasted bad weather or weather-related impacts to facilities.
    • Basic readiness items i.e. increased cleaning programmes for high traffic entryways, mats, signage (e.g. Warning! Slippery Surface)
    • Review Business Continuity Plans and Emergency Contact Procedures in the event of extremely adverse weather conditions (e.g. causing impact to public transport etc.).  See the Government publication Business Continuity Planning in Severe Weather for further information.

Want to know more on this topic but your time is limited? Contact us here and we’ll be happy to help.

Alternatively, find more information on the BIFM (British Institute of Facilities Management) website – Winter Maintenance Good Practice Guide.  This latest BIFM guide covers all aspects of winter maintenance.

Key tips include:
  • Integrating winter safety procedures into OHSAS 18001 / ISO 45001 or similar recognised Health & Safety Management System.
  • Sharing your winter maintenance plan with your insurer / broker to ensure it covers all areas required in the policy & whether it can positively impact the organisations premiums.
  • Complete a full accident investigation to identify the root cause of any snow or ice related accident.  Review this against the plan in place and demonstrate that all reasonable steps were taken.
  • Maintain records to show delivery of the risk management plan – these should be retained for at least three years.

The BIFM Winter Maintenance Guide is freely available to BIFM members and available to purchase for non-members.

Acacia Team
Acacia Team

More Blog Posts

Earth Day 2021

Earth Day 2021   Spare a thought for the planet … Earth Day motivates us to consider which parts of our environment need the most attention and which tactics we need to apply such as...

read more

Guidelines to Working Safely from Heights

Each year in Ireland, falls from a height are one of the leading causes of workplace fatalities. All work at height can lead to injury where falls occur. Our Health and Safety team prepared this...

read more

Covid: One Year On

Crisis management planning for facilities management does not usually include planning for a global pandemic. The types of crises for which facilities managers typically plan involve loss of...

read more

International Women’s Day 2021

Today, March 8th, is International Women’s day; the goal of this day is to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of Women. At Acacia, we are very lucky to have a...

read more

Understanding Remote DSE Assessments

Remote working Working from home has become ubiquitous since the first national lockdown. Consequently, remote working combined with an office presence may become more common place in working life...

read more

Acacia Win at NISO Awards 2020

Although 2020 was overall an incredibly challenging year, Acacia is delighted to announce that we have, for the second consecutive year, been awarded a NISO Business Category Award for Best in...

read more

The Role of Strategic Facilities Management

Facilities management plays a fundamental role in an organisation by managing one of its largest assets that contributes to the productivity and comfort of its workforce. Consequently, combining...

read more
Share This