The much-anticipated Storm Doris has finally hit the UK, bringing with her gusts of wind up to 94mph in some parts of the country, as well as lots of snow and rain.
According to the BBC, approximately 3,500 homes and businesses in Northern Ireland are now without power because of trees falling down onto overhead lines, while Heathrow Airport has cancelled 77 flights and reduced its service by ten per cent, the Port of Liverpool has closed, ferries and flights between the Isle of Man and the UK have been cancelled, and several train lines have had speed limits of 50mph imposed.
It’s expected that more wind and rain will be seen through the weekend and into next week, but it’s not thought it will be as severe as Storm Doris – which is sure to be welcome news for all. A yellow weather warning for ice has now been issued by the Met Office, however, for northern England, the Midlands, Scotland and Northern Ireland for February 23rd.
As a business, it’s important for you to prioritise health and safety at all times, but you do need to be especially careful when the weather is inclement as your employees will naturally face more risks as a result – especially if they’re working outside.
Drivers of high-sided vehicles should take extra care when travelling, as there is an increased risk of vehicles being blown over. When behind the wheel, slow down and make sure you take the potential for side winds into account when driving. Debris may also be blown into the road, so try to prepare for this if you can. In addition, take extra care when driving on exposed routes like high open roads or bridges and try and find an alternative route if possible.
For those on site, make sure that all electrical circuits are dried out and checked by an electrical engineer if the building floods. Don’t try to walk through any flooded areas, as you could be swept off your feet – and you can’t see dangers like damaged road surfaces, drains or debris.
If you have any boards or sidings in place, you’d be wise to make sure they’re properly secured as these can pose a serious risk not only to your team, but also to members of the general public walking past. It’s not unheard of for people to be injured by billboards toppling over in strong winds – so take this into account if you have anything like this on site.
Avoid working at height during inclement weather conditions, as there’s a clear risk of people falling. Always make sure your workers wear adequate and sufficient fall protection equipment and harnesses to help prevent falls from height.
If you’d like more information or advice relating to health and safety for businesses, as well as GWO working at heights courses, get in touch with us today.