Canada, along with Russia, is one of the coldest countries on the planet. Canada boasts some of the most varied weather on the world, with an average daily temperature of -5.6C and lows that may plummet from 41C to -19C in just one hour. As a result, when winter arrives, it may be brutal, affecting millions of companies across the country.
Winter storms are not to be taken lightly. They can bring a slew of hazards such as an increased chance of automobile accidents, frostbite, hypothermia, carbon monoxide poisonings, and extreme weather conditions such as freezing rain, snow, ice, and dangerously strong winds. However, being prepared for what is to come is half the battle of dealing with winter. Here's how you can get your company ready.
Most companies depend on transportation. For some, getting to work safely as an employee is enough. Others see the entire operation as centered on distributing products and services across the country. Whatever role roads and transportation play in your business, you must be extremely cautious about safety during winter conditions. Approximately 17% of all automobile accidents occur in snowy weather. On icy roads, stopping takes ten times longer.
Roads cannot be avoided throughout the winter months, so planning ahead of time might help you stay on the road in inclement weather.
- Know before you go. Check weather forecasts on a frequent basis and decide which routes are safer to use (avoid bridges and overpasses whenever you can). Schedules will need to be adjusted to allow for longer travels and slower speeds.
- Don't go without anything. Make sure you and your staff are prepared for winter weather. Extra windshield washer fluid, ice scrapers, winter gloves, a roadside kit, and emergency food rations are all recommended. You could also include a container of cat litter to assist you obtain traction when a wheel slips.
- Maintain the parking lots. A snow accumulation may soon convert to ice, transforming your property into an ice rink. Your greatest options are rock salt and snow blowers.
The week following the holidays can be terrible for many companies. Black Friday has come and gone. Budgets are limited. Customers have exhausted their cash resources. However, if you think about some of the issues that are being given, these slower periods can be a blessing.
Do you see a chance for your business to change during the winter? If you work in landscaping, you may provide snow removal and salting services, or you could look into installing lights and decorations. If you sell frozen yoghurt, offering hot cocoa, coffees, and teas might increase sales.
Winter is also an excellent season to clear out outdated stock and inventory through closeouts and discounts. You may also utilize this time to secure service arrangements at a discount.
The winter months may be quite stressful for many staff and customers. The days are becoming shorter, the sun sets earlier, and waking up at 6 a.m. to face a brutally cold and frosty day may be difficult even for the most sunny dispositions. Morale can plummet as low as frigid temps, so start preparing for winter fatigue now.
- Allow for a flexible work schedule. Even better if you can go completely remote. By not requiring employees to travel on dangerous routes, you give them more time to accomplish their tasks and demonstrate that their safety is your first priority. Consider shortened hours and late starts/early finishes if they must be in the workplace.
- Make the office more visible. When it's freezing outdoors, stock up on hot beverages (coffees and teas are always appreciated) and munchies. Provide more heated places and longer breaks if individuals are working in warehouses or outside.
- Vacations should be encouraged. Those hours are available for use, and they are critical for healthy mental health. Also, remind your staff that time off is time off; they are not required to check emails or return phone calls.
Winter may be a difficult season for many businesses, but with proper planning, it does not have to be.