Wintry weather and the workplace

Partner Crispin Kenyon urges businesses to be prepared for adverse weather over the festive season and beyond.

We're all dreaming of a white Christmas.. but once the festivities have faded from the memory, the first few weeks of a new year are often more likely to be affected by adverse weather conditions. Employers should have strategies in place to deal with snow and ice to best protect employees and visitors and customers.

This may mean going beyond the obvious precautions of clearing snow and ice to planning for how business critical staff can get to work in the first place. They may need to be in for early or indeed late shifts so think about how they will get to you if there is snow and ice affecting travel.

Many staff are so dedicated they will endure all kinds of travel inconvenience and conditions to support their employers. Whilst that is commendable they may need guidance or advice about when not to travel for their own safety especially if told by government agencies not to travel.

Those who are out “on the road” need to be properly equipped to protect themselves from the effects of adverse weather conditions, as do any vehicles they are using.

Some employers may wish to consider accommodating staff in hotels near to work if they cannot operate without a minimum number on the premises.

Businesses should treat weather as another risk to be assessed and managed to minimise the opportunity for employees to be exposed to foreseeable risks.

Have a plan and keep it up to date so everyone knows what to do when the weather strikes us with snow and ice.

Crispin Kenyon is Partner in the Regulatory team at national law firm Weightmans

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