As an employer, there are many things you can do to ensure your staff’s physical and mental wellbeing this winter, including monitoring your staff’s health, conduct workplace inspections, taking adequate outdoor work safety measures, implementing hygiene and safety protocols, and practising empathy.
Ways to keep your staff healthy
With the grave flu predictions for this winter, it’s important for you to monitor your employees’ health regularly. For instance, you can set up temperature checks, and sanitiser stands at all entry points.
Further, if any employee reports flu symptoms or any other respiratory disease, you should encourage them to stay at home. To support this, you can consider relaxing the limit on the number of days of sick leave that each employee is entitled to, at least during the winter months.
You can also ask your employees to follow essential practises such as regular hand washing. In this way, they will be keeping everyone safe.
Inspect your workplace
During winter, it is common for snow and ice to accumulate on roof-tops, driveways, and entrances. Slipping and tripping are responsible for most workplace accidents in the UK, and this risk increases significantly in icy weather. So, what can you do to minimise the risk of accidents? To begin with, you should inspect every nook and cranny of your workplace thoroughly to identify accident risks.
For example, if ice tends to form in certain areas, you need to develop a plan for their removal, as this can be a serious safety hazard. You can also hire personnel to shovel the snow out of your driveways and building entrances before your employees arrive for work in the morning. Take stock of things, develop a plan, and implement it. You’ll be good to go!
Have measures in place for outdoor work
Depending on your business, your staff may need to work outdoors. If this is the case, constant exposure to cold weather and low temperatures can put your employees at the risk of developing hypothermia, dehydration, and other health issues. That’s why you need to go the extra mile to ensure their well-being.
You can start by ensuring that they have adequate protective gear such as goggles, boots, and gloves. Furthermore, you can consider holding weather acclimation sessions for employees who might not be used to the weather conditions. It would be best not to involve employees with health issues and allergies in outdoor work.
Set hygiene and safety protocols
Given that flu and other respiratory diseases are highly transmissible, you need to do more than just regularly monitor the health of your employees. For example, you should develop a comprehensive set of hygiene and safety protocols that all your employees will be required to follow. The protocols may require your employees to refrain from sharing beverages, adhere to the waste disposal regulations, and follow healthy workplace hygiene practices.
Empathy is the best policy
Now, you’re probably wondering what empathy has to do with the health of your employees. In promoting your employees’ physical and mental wellbeing, empathy can make a huge difference. For instance, if you have cause to suspect that some of your employees are struggling with mental health issues, you could consider providing them with resources to help.
Let’s say that one of your employees cannot make it to work because they need to take care of a family member who has fallen ill. In such situations, try to be understanding and don’t force them to come to work. Creating a supportive and empathetic work environment is one of the best ways to keep your staff healthy throughout the year, not just during winter.
In addition to the six points covered above, you can also spread awareness among your employees on the importance of following healthy lifestyle habits. Let them know how healthy eating habits, regular exercise, and drinking plenty of water can keep them safe and healthy during winter.
Featured image: Dylan Gillis/Unsplash