Health and safety considerations for autumn

Health and safety considerations at work for autumn

Posted on 19th Sep, 2016 | By Lorretta Tatham

Autumn brings with it a number of additional hazards. While many of us will be staying inside this autumn, most tradesmen will find themselves working outside and exposed to the seasonal hazards. From slips and trips to workplace illness – we advise on the risks and health and safety considerations for autumn.

Risk #1 Fallen leaves, wet weather and ice

Fallen leaves, wet weather and ice can lead to slips, trips and falls at work. Wet leaves create a hazard for workers, making work areas slippery, while wet weather and ice can make surfaces slippery. In fact, access equipment can become slippery too when wet – especially if you climb your ladder with wet, slippery leaves stuck to your footwear.

leaves on cobbled floor

Our health and safety advice:

Always make sure that you clean up your work area before proceeding with work. Sweep away any leaves that sit in your working area and grit areas when ice is a risk.

It’s also important to wear proper footwear. Wear shoes or boots that provide traction. Boots made of non-slip rubber with grooved soles ensure good grip and protection.

When using access equipment, always make sure that it is clean and free of leaves and debris. Your ladder should also offer stability and grip. For more tips on working safely from a height, why not book on to our Working at Height Training Course?

Risk #2 Poor visibility

Darker evenings, rain and early morning fog can all obscure your vision. Furthermore, unexpected bright sunlight can become a problem when working on-site.

cranes constructing buildings

Our health and safety advice:

Always leave plenty of time to take your journey to work. Be aware of the limitations of autumn weather and slow down your speed. It’s also a good idea, where possible, to change your working hours to avoid driving in the worst weather.

When working outdoors on bright, crisp days, sunglasses may help you to see better and avoid hazards.

Risk #3 Cooler temperatures

As the temperatures dip, it’s important to keep warm. Cooler mornings, evenings and harsh cold spells can lead to illness and hyperthermia if incorrect clothing is worn.

men working outdoors

Our health and safety advice:

Layer up and consider wearing a cushioned, bulky coat on cold weather days. This will also provide protection should you fall. It’s also a good idea to take regular breaks inside to warm up and sip on hot drinks.

Signs of hyperthermia include shivering or trembling, drowsiness and confusion, and a general lack of co-ordination. First Aid knowledge will come in handy should an employee suffer. To become a competent first aider, sign up to our 3 Day First Aid at Work Course.

Risk #4 Workplace illness

As autumn and winter return, so do all those bugs and viruses. Of course, this can affect employees that work inside and employees that work outside.

worker unconscious on floor

Our health and safety advice:

As an employer, you should consider whether you can prevent employees from being exposed to the source of infection. Sick employees should also be advised to stay home from work to prevent illness from spreading. Good occupational hygiene should be encouraged too, to ensure a healthy working environment.

Our Manual Handling Training Course is another one of our offerings and relevant to all seasons.

Do you have any other safety tips for autumn? Perhaps you’ve had an accident in the past and would like to share your safety tips and your story? Tweet us @Brownssafety

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