Infrastructure Management: Preventative Action this Autumn
While the changing season and bright colors of Autumn thrill and delight. For business and organization managers, however, the showering leaves herald the need for winter preparation. Here are some tips for the top infrastructure management and maintenance safety tips for your organization and employees:
Before the Weather Turns:
- Start outside and check your building from the top down. Use fiberglass ladders to access high places. If fiberglass is not available, use aluminum ladders. Only as a last option should you use wooden ladders. Unlike fiberglass and aluminum ladders, wooden ladders are subject to cracking from cold and warping from moisture.
- Make sure your roof is sound and in good repair. Check that your HVAC equipment is working efficiently and is protected from ice damage and water penetration. Clear leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts. Wherever possible, install storm windows and doors.
- Clear leaves and debris from entryways, walkways, paths, and drainage areas. Store outdoor furnishings, and store or discard anything that can be blown into and clog storm drains. Look at the landscaping. Remove any tree limbs or debris that might prevent a danger to people or property during a windstorm.
- Check deicing supplies, snow shovels, and snow removal equipment. Make sure you have everything you need on hand before the first snow falls.
- Create, update, and/or remind employees of your “Inclement Weather Policies and Procedures.” Under what circumstances should employees attempt to come to work? When should they stay at home? Which employees are considered essential to your business? Who are the safety officers? What steps should be taken in the event of power outages and/or the disruption of essential services? Which vendors and suppliers should be contacted if you must alter your normal operating hours or close?
- As soon as safely possible, clear snow from walkways, paths, and driveways to the lawn, not to the street. Snow accumulation at the end of walks and driveways turns to ice and is extremely hazardous to people coming to and going from your organization. Spread enough deicing chemicals or sand to make walkways and driveways safe for pedestrians and driver.
- Keep company and employee vehicles, equipment, and trash containers out of the way of municipal snowplows and other snow removal equipment.
- Check in with employees, per your Inclement Weather Policies and Procedures.
By following these simple tips, your business or organization will be well prepared, no matter what Mother Nature brings this winter.