A dry, mild winter is probable across most of the southern tier of the U.S. in the 2017/2018 winter season, due to a developing La Niña, according to meteorologists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center.
Conversely La Niña will also lead to parts of the northern tier of the nation being buried by a colder and wetter winter, the center says.
And to better prepare facility managers in mid to northern regions, BIFM has released its winter facility management instructional, Good Practice Guide to Winter Maintenance.
In association with GRITIT, the UK-based winter gritting winter maintenance specialists, the winter guide provides FM professionals with practical advice to help support them in the development of better working practices around winter maintenance, covering all aspects from creating a plan and reducing risk to driving safely.
The Good Practice Guide to Winter Maintenance provides these top tips:
- Ensure your winter safety procedures are integrated into a recognizable health and safety management system such as OHSAS18001 or HS(G)65 Successful Health and Safety Management.
- Send the winter maintenance plan to your insurer or broker, both to ensure it covers all the areas required in the policy and also to see whether it can positively impact the organization’s premiums. An effective winter maintenance plan should allow an insurer to deny any injury claim.
- If an accident does occur as a result of snow or ice, conduct a full accident investigation to identify the root cause of the incident, review whether the procedures in the plan were sufficient, and demonstrate that you did all that is reasonably expected of you.
- Maintain records that show you have delivered your risk management plan, and keep these for at least three years.
More than 30% of organizations fail to plan for the winter period, and of those that do plan ahead, 85% were not planning to do anything differently from 2012, according to BIFM and GRITIT.
The Winter Maintenance Guide is free to download to all BIFM members as part of their member benefits and . It is available now from BIFM along with other guides in the series from the Good Practice Guides Web page.