Beat the Weather in 3 Easy Steps
As you probably know, I’m a work comp geek and pride myself on helping businesses minimize the financial impact that an injury causes to their business. When thinking about this week’s topic, I looked outside at 2 inches of fresh powder that fell last night and I realized that a snow day presents a similar challenge to the business that an injured employee does. How do you get productive work done when Mother Nature or an injured employee disrupts your upcoming work day?
We all know that your production will be affected by the weather multiple times a year. It doesn’t matter if that weather event is extreme heat or cold, rain or snow, the weather will do what it is going to do and you have to deal with it. The best way to deal with it is to be prepared before it happens just like you are before an injury happens.
Here are my 3 steps to beating Mother Nature and remaining productive during the most severe weather.
- Weather Protocol – Discuss weather protocol as soon as possible. A storm can creep up fast and I can guarantee your team will be wondering what they will or will not be doing at work when the storm hits. Consider these questions and ask for your employees’ involvement in creating your protocol…
- What is your cut off for high/low temperature before it is too dangerous to work outside?
- What tasks or projects in the shop do you have that you’ve always wanted to do, but don’t ever seem to have time to do?
- Are there safety or equipment training topics that can be presented?
- How can we involve every one of our team members in a productive way if they are not in the field?
- Reserving Jobs – Keep jobs reserved that are lower priority and don’t require climbing or aerial work. Maybe these are small pruning jobs or removals. If it is safe to be outdoors, but not safe to climb, use that to your advantage and get these jobs done when you can. Remember to emphasize proper job site preparation when working in less than ideal conditions and encourage your team that getting the job done safely is much more important than getting it done quickly.
- Communication – Build a notification system where team members either contact one another or log on to an internal message board before they begin to travel to work. Within my office we use the Slack, a powerful software that allows us to communicate with everyone instantly. It can be downloaded as an app on your phone so all can get the same message at the same time.
Lastly, the preparation work that you just did for a weather event can and should be utilized to be prepared for an injury. The same small projects that you want to accomplish should be integrated into your injury management plan so that you can get the injured worker back on the job as quickly as possible.