Of all four seasons, autumn is perhaps one of the most favoured. Famed for golden leaves, stunning scenery and mild temperatures, it’s calm and gentle – but that’s where the danger creeps in.
Lulled into a false sense of security post summer, the weather can – and does – turn quickly, taking businesses by surprise and presenting all manner of safety issues.
Don’t get caught out. Read on to discover the key hazards to be mindful of this autumn and ensure your business isn’t left out in the cold!
Hazard 1 – fallen leaves
Even the strictest of cleaning schedules will struggle to stay on top of leaves during autumn, making surfaces slippery and dangerous.
If you do manage to keep walkways clear, you’ll still need to take into account the debris trodden in from other areas, sticking to work boots and making walking and climbing ladders extremely hazardous.
Hazard 2 – wet weather
As temperatures dip, the UK climate becomes wetter, but it’s not just rain that needs to be considered. Even on dry days, autumn mornings are frequently damp and dewy, which will make surface, machinery and walkways slippery.
Hazard 3 – cooler temperatures
The danger with autumn is that, whilst we know it’s the pathway to winter, we’re still relaxed by the warmth of summer. Sudden changes take us by surprise, catching businesses unawares and unprepared.
Caught off-guard by a sudden chill, workers will pull on additional layers of clothing and gloves in order to keep warm. Unaccustomed to their wear, these can hamper dexterity, reduce grip and narrow the field of vision.
Hazard 4 – unexpected ice
If the colder weather can be a shock to the system, so too can a sudden freeze. The routine gritting of winter is unlikely to take place during autumn, meaning that an unexpected bout of frost can pose a real threat to the workplace and the safety of the team.
Hazard 5 – poor visibility
It takes time to adjust to the reduced light of autumn and winter with darker nights and mornings, but it’s not just the increased levels of darkness that can affect vision.
Mist and fog, particularly common in autumn, also hamper visibility. So too can the sun. Sitting lower in the sky it can be dazzling and make seeing your way safely, extremely difficult.
- It’s beneficial to increase your outdoor maintenance rota in autumn and winter. But to further protect the safety of workers and customers, the ideal solution is to replace old worn walkways with anti-slip flooring such as glass reinforced plastic (GRP) flooring.
- An ungritted surface can be a real safety concern. Opting for a flooring solution with built-in grip can reduce the risk of nasty slips and falls if surfaces have been left untreated.
- Secure steps with anti-slip coverings. Look for options with high visibility or glow in the dark edges, for increased visibility.
- Boost safety by ensuring there are sturdy handrails in place – ideally on both sides of any walkway, steps or stairs.
- To maximise safety – even for hands wrapped up in cumbersome gloves – ensure said handrails are easy to grip.
- Replace old worn ladders for GRP ladders with ribbed anti-slip edges for optimal safety.
Order GRP products today for year-round protection
Don’t be caught off guard this autumn, protect your working environment with glass reinforced products from HR Kilns. Renowned for its exceptional safety qualities and low maintenance needs, GRP really is the superior choice.
With anti-slip steps covering, floor gratings, high grip ladders, handrails and much, much more, you can upgrade – and season proof – your premises today.
To find out more about the benefits of GRP products, or to place an order, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.