Winter weather will be upon us before we know it. Is your facility prepared to weather the winter season? From deicing options to technology considerations during power outages, Staples has created a helpful checklist of six tips to reduce the impact of harsh winter weather on facilities and buildings:
1. Prevent slip-and-fall accidents: Winter weather can be dangerous, so maintaining your facility’s grounds for pedestrians and vehicles is a priority. Find the right deicer that removes snow and ice from walkways, parking lots, roads and pedestrian pathways without harming surfaces, people or animals. Applying them in advance of storms will reduce risk and improve the safety of those at your facility.
2. Know your products. Knowing the basic chemistry of products and how they can affect your facility is important. For example, not all deicers are created equally – you need to know what’s in them to determine their effectiveness, hazard traits and pollution potential. It’s important to understand safe use, storage, handling and disposal. Consider the impact certain deicers may have on walkways, interior surfaces, and vegetation. Proper usage and evaluation of chemicals can minimize damage.
3. Understand total cost. Knowing your products will help you understand total cost of ownership. For instance, while sodium chloride (rock salt) is commonly used and less expensive per pound, it can be a relatively inefficient deicer and harmful to concrete, stone surfaces and vegetation. Additionally, potentially damaging products may mean added labor costs and surface replacements or repairs both outside and inside your facility.
4. Safeguard your indoor environmental quality. Cold temperatures force facility managers to create tightly sealed indoor environments until spring. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), levels of contaminants and pollutants in indoor air are between 3 and 5 times higher than outdoor air. Use cleaning, breakroom, maintenance and office supplies that don’t emit vapors or distribute contaminants, especially during winter, to prevent accumulation and build-up of contaminants in the indoor air.
5. Ensure the safety of your technology/data. Power outages can happen when inclement weather strikes. Make sure you regularly back up company data, either through a hosted, off-site service or onsite. It’s also important to check that your back-up system is working properly prior to when a potential storm hits.
6. Implement a telecommuting program. Winter storms can affect an employee’s ability to get to work, so it’s important to have a telecommuting policy in place. This includes making sure your staff has the proper equipment to do their job effectively from home. If you already have a telecommuting policy, be sure to remind employees to utilize it during winter.
As a CrownSource customer, you have access to deep discounts on all the winterizing products you need – like deicers, shovels, safety vests, gloves – to keep your operations running smoothly whatever the cold weather brings. Login to our eProcurement Platform, CrownConnect, to see all our facility maintenance and safety products. Not a customer? Schedule a demo now.