In the UK the Winter weather can be unpredictable and harsh, posing significant risks to businesses. Being prepared for freezing weather is not just a precautionary measure—it’s essential. Here’s why your business can’t afford to be unprepared when winter strikes.

Safety first

First and foremost, safety is paramount. Freezing temperatures, snow, and ice can create hazardous conditions on your business premises. Slippery pavements, car parks and loading bays increase the risk of slips and falls. This can lead to serious injuries for both employees and customers. By having a plan that includes regular snow and ice removal and salting paths you minimise these risks and demonstrate a commitment to safety.

Without wanting to scare monger too much – have you thought about what would happen if a customer or employee slips and falls due to icy conditions on your premises? It would be very likely you would be held responsible for their injuries. This is because businesses have a legal duty to ensure their premises are safe for visitors.

If someone slips on ice outside your business, they may claim that you were negligent in maintaining safe conditions. This could lead to a personal injury lawsuit where you might be required to compensate for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages – it can add up, in fact it can spell the end for some businesses.

The key factor in such cases is whether you took reasonable steps to prevent accidents. Regularly shovelling snow, salting walkways, and posting warning signs are all measures that show you’re proactive in keeping your premises safe.

It’s also worth saying here that insurance plays a significant role here. Having the right liability insurance can protect your business financially if an accident occurs – some may not even offer insurance if you don’t have a winter weather plan in place. It’s wise to review your policy and ensure it covers slip-and-fall incidents related to winter weather.

Keep things operational

Operational continuity is another crucial reason to have a winter weather plan. Severe weather can disrupt transportation, making it difficult for employees to get to work and for deliveries to get in and out. Unplanned closures due to severe weather can lead to a serious loss in revenue, especially if they occur during peak business periods. Having a plan in place allows you to mitigate these losses.

By having a contingency plan, with freezing weather measures in place, keeps your business running smoothly. It also reassures your customers that you are reliable, regardless of the weather.

The way your customer’s view you is also an important factor. A business that is well-prepared for winter weather sends a positive message to customers. It shows that you care about their safety and are committed to providing a consistent level of service.

Employee morale is another key consideration. A business that is prepared for winter weather demonstrates that it values its employees’ well-being. Employees who feel safe and supported when driving to, from or walking around their workplaces are more likely to be engaged and productive.

Being prepared for winter weather aligns with broader business resilience and risk management strategies. It shows your brand to have foresight and a proactive approach to handling challenges, which are qualities that can positively influence stakeholders’ perceptions, including investors, partners, and insurers to name a few.

Not having a winter weather plan in place is a risk that businesses simply can’t afford. The benefits of being prepared far outweigh the costs, ensuring safety, operational continuity, financial stability, and a positive reputation.

By taking action now, even in the height of the British sunshine, you protect your business from the unpredictability of winter and position yourself for success, no matter what the unpredictable British weather brings.