November 10, 2021 Winter Safety

Plan Ahead and Prepare Your Business For Winter

Preparing Your Business for Winter Weather

The temperatures have been dropping quickly. Morning frost has been appearing on the windshields. The snow and storms are soon to come. As an employer, it is your responsibility to take steps to protect your employees and your business. Heavy accumulations of ice and snow can bring down trees and topple utility poles and communication towers. Ice can disrupt communications and power for days while utility companies repair extensive damage. Even small accumulations of ice can be extremely dangerous to motorists and pedestrians. Bridges and overpasses are particularly dangerous because they freeze before other surfaces. Snow and ice are a threat to your business and your employees. This is the first article in Beacon's new RI Business Winter Planning 101 blog series. Read more to learn how you can plan ahead and prepare your business for winter.

5 ways your business can plan ahead of the storm

1.  Determine Your Greatest Risk Potential

It might come from the loss of heat, frozen pipes (which can burst, causing water damage), or loss of access caused by icy conditions.  What would happen if you had to shut down your business for several days?  Look at your building and assess the property damage risks. If you do this early enough, you’ll have time to make structural upgrades that can prevent possible future storm, wind, or water damage.


2.  Calculate the Costs

Calculate the cost of business interruptions for one week, one month, and six months. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to investigate insurance options or build a cash reserve that will allow your company to function during the post-disaster recovery phase. It’s also a good idea to develop professional relationships with alternative vendors, in case your primary contractor can’t service your needs.  Place occasional orders with them so they regard you as an active customer when you need them. 


3.  Review Your Insurance Coverage

Contact your agent to find out if your policy is adequate for your needs. Consult with a business insurance expert to advise you on the right coverage for your situation.  When buying insurance, ask “How much can I afford to lose?”  It’s a good idea to know the value of your property.


4.  Build a Crisis Communication Plan

Build a crisis communications plan so you’ll be able to make sure your staff, customers, vendors, and contractors know what’s going on.  Establish an email alert system.  Make sure you have primary and secondary email addresses for your employees and everyone you do business with.  Create a Facebook page and use Twitter to keep the public aware you’re still in business and in the process of recovering after the disaster.

5.  Stay Informed

Stay informed and listen to local officials. Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by your state and local government. In an emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.


Download Free Winter Safety Flyers

Education is key to keeping your business and employees safe! You can quickly and easily download free winter safety flyers in the Beacon Safety Library. Winter safety topics range from snow shoveling, snow blower, snow plow safety, to winter slip and fall, to so much more. Download your free flyers today.


Register for a Free Snow Removal Safety Webinar

December 16, 2021.
This webinar is open to the public.

Learn More & Register


About Beacon’s Safety Team

Beacon Mutual has the largest team of local ergonomic and safety professionals dedicated to creating safer workplaces in Rhode Island. Each experienced member of the team understands current safety and health issues and their potential impact on Rhode Island employers. Beacon Mutual is pleased to offer our policyholders a wide variety of educational programs to ensure a safe and productive workplace at no additional cost.


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