When we turn our clocks back, we got a delightful extra hour in bed. But, there's more to think about than that. The fact is that colder, darker evenings bring significant risks and safety challenges.
Here are a few things to keep in mind for yourself and your organization:
Slips, Trips & Falls
The sun sets earlier, which adds a greater risk of slips and falls in the evening. This decreased visibility can exacerbate weather-related hazards that are already more common in the fall and winter months. That's why it's important to mitigate the risk of slips, trips and falls around your facility, for both guests and staff, with the following steps:
Make sure all surfaces are well maintained, especially parking lots and sidewalks
Remember to maintain staff-only areas as well, such as walkways to the dumpster or maintenance sheds
Post clear signage near potential hazard spots
Check that salt and cleaning supplies are stocked and available
Confirm all exterior lights are working properly.
Increased Crime & Vandalism
The cover of darkness can also provide an ideal opportunity for theft or vandalism. In fact, Farmers Insurance says that 25% of the year’s auto-related theft claims occur in the winter holiday months. The switch to daylight saving time is an ideal reminder to check that all lighting in and around your parking lots and other outdoor areas is functioning as it should. Not only will it deter thieves and vandals, but it can help prevent the aforementioned slip, trip and fall incidents, too. It's also a good time to check that you have clear signage reminding everyone to lock their cars and take their valuables with them.
Check Smoke & CO Alarms
Given that many organizations will start up their gas-fired furnaces, fireplaces and portable heaters for the first time, carbon monoxide poisoning risks increase dramatically during this time of year. That's why we recommend using the time change as a reminder to check and replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms. The National Fire Protection Association recommends that you replace smoke alarm units that are older than 10 years and CO alarm units that are older than five years.
Now may also be a good time to see if your fire extinguisher needs recharging. You can do this by checking the small gauge at the top of the extinguisher. If the needle in that gauge is in the green, the extinguisher is okay. If it is in the red, you need to have the extinguisher recharged.
The switch to daylight saving time is an annual fixture in our calendars, so it makes sense to use it as an opportunity to refocus on safety — addressing both the specific safety challenges that the change in time brings, as well as the other risks associated with winter. That way, you can ensure peace of mind no matter the season.
Learn more about our cloud-based software for safety to see how you can further protect your organization, employees and yourself.