Whether it’s getting ready for the cold months or preparing for when lockdown ends, thinking ahead is vital for good health and safety.

A recent study conducted by Roland revealed that clear signage has a significant impact on shoppers’ confidence. It found that more than 80 percent of shoppers in the UK said they feel safer in shops with clear signage on social distancing, and just slightly less than that said they are more likely to shop in stores with clear instructions on social distancing measures.

This sends out a strong message. We want to feel safe and we want to know that our safety is being considered.

This isn’t just relevant in a pandemic, though. The hazards that are typically prominent during the winter months need highlighting just as much.

Risk Assessments

You can’t just magically know what’s right or wrong. No one can. Every building needs to have a risk assessment. Even relating to Covid-19. In your shop or workplace, what are the risks people face, and how can you ensure that you minimise or mitigate them? You need to assess all the factors and then take the right action.

This could relate to one way systems and social distancing, as well as ice in the car park, and even winter driving.

If you are responsible for people who drive for their job, then have you thought about making sure they’re ready for the winter roads? That includes checks of vehicles before a journey, keeping an eye on tyre treads, ensuring lights are in good working order, windscreen washer is topped up and windscreens are clear.

Then what about the fact that more people are likely to slip and trip during the cold seasons as ice and snow build up on paths. Not only is it important that those responsible for the areas take action to ensure any issues are promptly dealt with, but communication is also vital. This could be indicating to pedestrians or cars that ice is a problem, and pointing out where the safe routes are, or maybe even providing covered walkways.

It’s too late after an event has taken place to wish you’d put up that sign or trained that person better. Health and safety is about exploring all the eventualities and making sure you put in the right preventative measures.

Signage

Health and safety needs to be communicated across all areas of every business and organisation. It’s just as relevant to let customers or visitors understand safety measures as it is to keep staff updated. From where the fire extinguisher is, to the fire exits, pointing out hazardous materials, social distancing and general good practices, if you don’t communicate it properly, how can you expect people to know what to do?

This is why I provide a large range of health and safety signage. Doing a risk assessment is not enough, you need to be proactive with the results and make sure that health and safety is widely appreciated and understood.

It’s not just about whether you tick all the boxes. As the new research demonstrates, it’s about whether your customers, visitors or staff feel confident. 2020 has surely made us all think about safety in a whole new way. Don’t lose business by not making a few small decisions. Do your risk assessments and find out how best to ensure the safety of those you’re responsible for.