Baker-Jayne
Contact Baker-Jayne 0844 858 4030

Ground Floor
Unit 7 Villiers Court
Meriden Business Park
Meriden,CV5 9RN
F:0844 858 4031


Adverse Weather Guidelines for Clients.

06/10/2011

As we enter autumn we make no apology for repeating guidance we have given before.

Last year’s cold weather caused a large number of burst pipes and other damage. Flooding

is becoming more common and October often brings stormy weather. In view of this, all

businesses could consider the following areas to reduce the risk of costly losses and business

interruptions.

 

Winter conditions regularly lead to flooding from burst pipes. In addition, melting snow combined with fresh rain falls can overwhelm the drainage system and result in local flooding.

In very extreme conditions heavy snowfalls can impose significant loads on roof structures although this is rare in the UK. In addition to direct damage to property from the conditions, accidents and incidents are also more likely during periods of cold weather.

 

Physical Assets

Plan for safe methods of snow removal.

Check all heating units for reliable operation.

See that building insulation is in place, windows are not broken and openings are sealed.

Regularly check power and telephone cables for build-up of ice and plan a safe method to remove it.

Provide fire hydrants, sprinkler valves and fire brigade sprinkler connections with markers visible above potential snow piles.

Obtain generators as back-up power supplies for critical operations.

Develop a strategy for protecting water pipes, especially where they run outside or through unheated areas.

Ensure temperature sensitive materials are adequately stored.

Store all stock off-the-floor, to prevent damage by flooding.

Clean all roof gutters and down pipes ensuring they are free from obstruction.

Ensure thermostats and frost-stats are working correctly and set appropriately.

If portable heaters are required, ensure they are adequately maintained, staff are trained to use them safely and that fire risk assessments are updated to reflect the additional hazard.

Ensure sprinkler systems are maintained and alternate systems are switched to air.

Ensure sprinkler pump houses are adequately heated.

Disconnect and drain water pipes in areas likely to freeze. Where this is not possible ensure the pipes are properly lagged and heating is provided or maintained in that area.

Ensure all traffic and travel routes on your site are kept clear of snow and ice.

Provide a stock of salt or grit for keeping paths and traffic routes free of snow and ice.

Inspect your buildings after a period of freezing weather, looking for damage by frost or by the weight of ice or snow.

 

Vehicles

Keep up to date with road conditions, accidents and road closures.

– Follow guidance in the media and only set out if your journey is absolutely necessary.

Check tyre, battery and wiper blade condition.

Make sure the lights are fully functioning and double check oil and fuel levels before setting off.

If you must travel, make sure you have certain items in the vehicle, e.g. shovel, de-icer, warm clothing and blankets, food and a flask of hot drink and a fully-charged mobile phone.

Check anti-freeze levels and carry de-icer in case the locks freeze.

If warming your car up don’t leave it unattended with the keys in the ignition. Many cars are stolen this way by opportunist thieves each year.

Adapt your driving style to the conditions:

Be smooth and gentle with steering and brakes and allow much longer breaking distances than you would normally.

If you do have an accident and the vehicle is immobilised, use hazard warning lights to alert other motorists.

For cars that are not being used that often ensure you regularly turn the engine over and keep the engine running to keep the battery energised.

Have your breakdown telephone helpline number and mobile phone with you.

 

Business Continuity

To reduce the impact of adverse weather conditions on businesses, the following steps could be taken:

Review your business continuity plan.

Think about how you’ll best be able to service your customers, suppliers and key stakeholders if your business is disrupted.

Think about how you will communicate with your staff in the event of an out-of-hours incident where (for example) you do not want people to attend a site on the following working day.

Consider how you might deal with staff that become stranded at work.

Give early warnings of any problems to your customers and suppliers.

Make sure you have up to date contact details for all staff.

List the telephone numbers of the people you may need to contact for assistance, e.g. insurance company, emergency plumber and electrician.

Encourage key staff to plan their continued availability for work in the event that their usual route is disrupted.

Work with your IT department to enable more of your staff to be able to work from home.

Review any possibilities for the temporary switching of some activities to other sites that may be less impacted and/or who have suitably experienced staff available.

Ensure that HR policies for dealing with temporary staff absences are in place and well understood.

Make sure that only essential business travel continues between sites.

Wherever possible arrange meetings via teleconference facilities instead.

Wherever appropriate provide regular updates to staff and any other impacted stakeholders.

Priority areas should be salted and gritted in advance.

Arrangement should be made for access routes to be inspected regularly. Temporary signs denoting safe routes may be necessary.

 

Health and safety

Identify the outdoor areas most likely to be affected by ice, for example, building entrances, car parks, pedestrian walkways, shortcuts, sloped areas and areas constantly in the shade or wet.

Monitor the temperature.

Keep up to date with the latest weather forecast.

Put a procedure in place to prevent an icy surface forming and/or keep employees and pedestrians off the slippery surface.

Divert employees and pedestrians to less slippery walkways and barrier off existing ones.

For employees who have to work outside or work in unheated buildings ensure simple controls are

implemented.

– Warm waterproof clothing and hot drinks are provided, employees take regular breaks and ensure job rotation is in place.

Where home working will not unduly affect business efficiency, sanction this to avoid unnecessary travel (but provide guidance on health and safety for home workers).

 

Insurance

Contact Baker Jayne or alternatively, your insurer, to discuss any insurance implications.

 

Contacts

Should you require any clarification or assistance, please contact the team by:

Phone 0844 8584030

Email info@bakerjayne.co.uk

 

Sources of additional information

 

For the latest weather and travel news, visit:

Met Office website

www.metoffice.gov.uk

BBC Weather

http://news.bbc.co.uk/weather/

Highways Agency website

www.highways.gov.uk