Are you prepared for Autumn?
As the days grow shorter and colder months roll in, we begin to wrap up warm and embrace what autumn has to offer. For your business, this shift of season can mean more though, bringing with it changeable weather and a unique set of risks that can easily be overlooked. High winds and a greater risk of rain damage for a start, can impact property, contents, production processes and the ability to trade.
We’ve produced our Autumn Risk Management Bulletin which covers some of the key issues to be aware of at this time of year. From dangerous driving conditions and slips and trips, to the modification of outdoor areas, it clearly defines what to look out for, and outlines simple measures that can be taken to help protect your people and safeguard your business.
The potential impact on property is most obvious in considering autumn conditions, but it’s essential to fully assess these risks and prepare for any adverse weather including storms or floods that could cause severe disruption. But it’s more than that – roads for example also need careful consideration. As seasons change, the challenges on the road do too – autumn brings fallen leaves, colder weather, rain, lower sun, frosts and longer periods of darkness – which can all impact driver performance and contribute to an increase in road traffic collisions.
Consider also slips and trips, a common cause of injuries at work - wet weather and damp autumn leaves can increase the risks further, both inside and outside a premises. Injuries such as these affect the individual involved but also can mean business losses through claims, employee absence and bad publicity. Equipment too can be overlooked - it’s important to make sure it’s safe and ready for use as always, but don’t just rely on a statutory inspection regime – consider for example how much you rely on a boiler in the winter months - it’s essential to properly maintain this type of equipment, especially before the winter period.
This year we’ve also seen more businesses look to modify their premises to create outdoor areas. This was partly driven by COVID restrictions, but protecting people from wet weather, and keeping them warm as the autumn nights get colder remains important for many businesses that have adapted to new ways of working. But adding enclosures, decorative elements, heaters, lighting or other arrangements can present additional risk. If you’re in this position, awareness and careful risk management could help create a thriving outdoor space whilst avoiding any unfortunate event that might lead to further periods of disruption.
To find out more and prepare for the autumn read our guide here.