There are plenty of safety hazards for facility managers to control and mitigate the risk of, and these includes those that are outdoors. In the colder months these can be greater, with the additional risk of snow, ice and rain. From business car parks to outdoor gardens and pavements there are a number of places that you need to consider within your ground’s maintenance plans. Let’s take a look at some of the most common outdoor safety hazards and just how important good grounds maintenance is.

Outdoor Safety Hazards

Winter Weather

Winter weather brings with it all kinds of safety hazards – with the majority of slips and trips occurring in the autumn and winter months. From the obvious ice-covered roads and pavements to snow and darker nights. Places surrounding a business such as car parks and walkways become more hazardous in winter and therefore greater care must be taken to ensure these places are safe for customers, employees, pedestrians and vehicles.

Things you can do to improve safety outdoors in winter include ensuring you are properly gritting roads, car parks and pavements when necessary; ensuring you have plenty of outdoor lighting to help people see in the dark and properly removing snow when necessary.

Trees and Plants

Trees, plants and green areas make a business premises much more aesthetically appealing which is why it is very common. However, with surround green areas comes added responsibility. Upkeep is incredibly important, for both appearance and safety. Falling debris from trees and plants can cause serious safety hazards and therefore it is essential inspections be carried out regularly and trees and plants pruned as appropriate. Similarly take into account the products being used on green areas and take care to avoid harmful chemicals which could cause irritation to passers-by.

Potholes/Road Surface

An additional impact of adverse weather is its detriment to road surfaces. Potholes in your car park and surrounding your business as well as any uneven surfaces can present various trip hazards which should be dealt with quickly and efficiently to prevent any injuries to customers or employees.

The Importance of Grounds Maintenance

All of the above safety hazards can be mitigated and controlled with the enforcement of good grounds maintenance. Having a responsible person for grounds maintenance means they will be tasked with ensuring all the above hazards are controlled – they will regularly inspect the grounds for risks and put protocols in place for minimising said risks.

Responsibilities should be clearly communicated and understood, and a recognised health and safety system should be implemented. Businesses must ensure they have a process for documenting actions and the upkeep of outdoor spaces which includes conducting risk assessments and surveys of the outdoor space as part of the ground’s maintenance.

MSL Property Care Services can perform grounds maintenance tasks as part of a planned maintenance schedule. Working with you to understand when and what needs to be done as priority and implement key strategies to ensuring your business is safe and productive.

In addition to maintenance, MSL can assist with your security needs to ensure you facility and it’s grounds are protected – including access control and CCTV.