It’s been a relatively mild winter so far, although we’ve all seen our fair share of rain. There’s still plenty of time for it to get colder though and, depending on where in the UK you’re based, the arrival of snow and icy conditions can’t be ruled out. And, of course, with lots of rain comes flooding. It’s likely that some of you will have been affected by the floods that hit the country towards the back end of 2019.
At this time of year it’s important that you prepare your business for bad weather and identify the particular risks that it may pose to you. By doing this in advance, you can create an action plan and reduce any disruption it may cause.
As an employer, you have a duty of care to your employees. It’s also important to ensure the safety of your customers while they are on your premises, whether that’s a vape shop or offices. Adverse weather conditions increase the risks faced by employees and customers and it’s your responsibility to minimise these as far as you can.
To help you prepare, here are some areas for you to consider:
- Keep on top of the weather forecasts so you know what is coming. The Environment Agency and the Met Office have some very useful tools which you can make use of.
- In wet weather try to keep floors as dry as possible. If it snows, clear a path to your door and put down grit. Slippery floors increase the chances of an employee or customer falling and being injured. Depending on the severity, this could result in a claim against your Public Liability or Employer’s Liability insurance.
- Have a communication plan in place and make sure your employees are aware of bad weather procedures. If the nature of their role means they can work at home, let them. If they work in your shop, can you be flexible on what time they arrive and leave? However inconvenient, remember that your employees safety is your key priority.
- Do you have any vehicles as part of your business? Maybe you have sales reps with company cars or drivers with delivery vans? If you do, it’s vitally important that you comply with health and safety legislation. Consider the risks they face in adverse weather conditions and take action to combat these. This may include giving them winter emergency driving kits (a blanket, torch, shovel, high vis jacket) and encourage other employees who drive to work to have a similar kit in their car.
- Carry out regular vehicle maintenance checks, particularly in winter months, to reduce the risk of breakdowns. Read more about how to prepare your vehicles for winter here.
- If your shop or business premises are at risk of flooding, make sure you are prepared and have a flood disaster recovery plan in place to minimise business disruption. If you’d like more information on how to go about creating a flood recovery plan read our recent blog on preparing a business contingency plan for flooding
At Anthony Jones we take risk management seriously and have specialist vaping insurance experts to give you all the support and guidance you need to get the right protection in place for your vaping business. We’re always happy to help so don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.