Winter is coming and for dealerships that means more than winter sports and holidays. Unfortunately, with the change in winter weather, also comes additional safety risk, which also means additional safety preparedness.
To maintain productivity and reduce injuries and time off, consider winter safety and create a plan for your dealership. In northern states this means snow and ice, with increased rain and colder temperatures in the southern states. Please consider the following:
Do you already have a plan?
Consider your current plan. Do you have snow teams? Snow teams allow for the immediate and efficient removal of winter debris and preparation for winter injuries. If you don’t already have one, create a snow team and make sure to have snow team backups. Establish roles for your team’s members, including shoveling, salting, moving cars, clearing cars, and attending service. Have you considered the effects of increased precipitation and how your dealership will cope?
Is your team equipped?
To avoid additional slip and fall hazards due to winter weather, equip your dealership with mats, slip signs, salt, shovels, and snow brushes. These tools should be kept near entry ways and exits for immediate use.
Does your team have winter gear protection?
Just as you need lighter clothing in the summer to avoid heat stroke, it is also important to supply yourself and your staff with adequate winter clothing. Adequate footwear (non-slip shoes with strong tread or ice cleats), appropriate rain gear, scarves, hats, and gloves should be available to all employees.
Is your team prepped to shovel snow?
Shoveling seems simple but can create a huge safety risk. To avoid shoveling injuries, stretch first, avoid twisting your torso when you lift, and lift with your legs. Additional considerations include being careful of long shovel blades and designating a specific location for the snow pile.
Is your team trained to drive in winter conditions?
If you live in a snowy climate or even in just severe winter downpours, additional training for your team members may be valuable. On a minimal level, your team should fully scrape, clear, and clean any car that they plan on driving. Drivers should increase distance from other vehicles, keep their headlights on during any precipitation or snow, and drive slowly as an extra precaution.
Most importantly of all, increase your awareness during this winter season. Be aware of hazards, walk with caution, and slow down!