Autumn comes with its own unique set of seasonal hazards. Cooler weather brings relief from the summer heat, but many regions of the country also experience an increase in severe weather like snow and ice, thunderstorms, and hurricanes. Shorter days can also increase the dangers for employees who may be working or driving in the dark.
With that in mind, now is a good time to reevaluate your safety practices and remind workers to be vigilant about the hazards they may encounter during this season. Here are 10 autumn workplace safety tips to try:
- Prevent the flu. Fall marks the start of flu season, and flu shots will be especially important this year in light of the pandemic. Consider offering a free on-site vaccination clinic. Or, if that's not possible, encourage employees to get a flu shot at their local pharmacy or doctor's office.
- Practice ladder safety. Whether they're at the job site, hanging decorations in the office, or cleaning gutters at home, employees should be reminded of best practices for ladder use, including choosing the right ladder for the job and maintaining three points of contact.
- Prevent slips and falls. Keep walkways clear of leaves, which can become slick when it rains. As the weather gets colder, make sure sidewalks are cleared of ice and snow.
- Make sure company vehicles are ready for winter by replacing wiper blades, checking tires and fluid levels, and restocking your emergency kit. Here are some more winter driving safety tips.
- Alert drivers to autumn road hazards. Rain, fog, fallen leaves, and deer crossing are common hazards this time of year.
- Make time for mental health. The holidays can be a difficult time for many people. Leaders should be on the lookout for signs of mental illness and, if employees need support, point them to the appropriate resources. Here are more tips to foster a mentally healthy workforce.
- Improve indoor air quality. Simple steps everyone can take include staying home if you’re sick, following the company’s smoking policy, and notifying a manager if you suspect an indoor air quality issue. Here are more indoor air quality tips.
- Use caution with candles. A lighted candle creates a cozy atmosphere, but it can also be a major fire hazard. Open flames should not be allowed in offices because of the potential for a fire.
- Space heaters are another common fire hazard when not used properly. If your workplace allows space heaters, educate employees on safe use practices. Consider requiring employees to request approval from a supervisor before using a space heater at work to ensure the proper precautions are followed.
- Inspect your smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and first aid kits. A small amount of effort now will ensure these are in good working order in the event of an emergency.