As we happily move into fall with a warm welcome of everything pumpkin, employers should keep a careful eye out for the new set of workplace hazards that come with the change of season and can lead to a workers' compensation claim. Along with protecting employees against fall-time hazards, employers should also use this time to fix any known issues and hone in on best practices before winter. Below are some common fall hazards wholesalers should be aware of.
All paths traveled by employees and clients should be cleared of leaves as wet leaves are extremely slippery. Clearing paths of leaves should be a repeated task done at opening, closing, and periodically throughout open hours.
When using ladders to hang any decorations or reach supplies, make sure the ground underneath is completely clear of any leaves, which could cause the ladder to lose its grip to the ground.
Furnaces & Heaters
Furnaces and heaters go mostly untouched all summer. Do not simply turn them on at the first sign of cold weather. Have them inspected and serviced to avoid a fire hazard or dangerous gas leak.
Similarly, if you display merchandise outdoors and use heaters to keep clients warm, follow these four placement tips:
- Do not place the heater near heavy foot traffic
- Do not place heaters near the entrance or exit
- Leave space around the heater, making sure it is not too close to your merchandise
- Never use a propane heater indoors
Candles are a great accessory to set a fall ambiance, but misuse can lead to fires, even if you are using them outdoors. Be sure to blow out candles before closing, never leave an open flame unattended, and avoid placing candles under signs or where employee/client exchanges occur regularly.
Sections of trees begin to die in cooler weather. Ensure all dead branches and decaying limbs are removed to prevent one from breaking off and damaging any workplace property, merchandise, employees or clients!