Do You Have a Winter Preparedness Plan?
We may live in the South, but our winters can get pretty chilly, and sometimes downright icy. If a deep freeze warning or a winter storm in the forecast catches you off guard, you risk damage to your facility, machinery, and operations, which can be costly in terms of repairs and lost production time. It helps to think of winter prep from three perspectives: your plant, your equipment, and your people. With a three-point preparedness plan in place, you’ll be ready to withstand whatever winter weather comes our way.
Prepare your facility and office space for winter:
- Make sure buildings are weather tight, including doors and windows
- Seal openings in exterior walls, ceilings, roofs, and floors
- Look for pipes that may be susceptible to freezing temperatures and wrap and heat trace them
- Inspect and service the HVAC system and generators to make certain they’re in good working order or needs repairs
- Examine indoor and outdoor lighting and update automatic timing systems to be in line with seasonal daylight differences
- Ensure electricity availability for emergency eyewash/shower stations and wrap associated pipes
- Test portable heating systems to make sure they’re operational
- Check all thermostats, including those on heated sumps
Here’s a checklist for equipment, including all vehicles, to make sure they’re winterized:
- Company cars and trucks
- Pumps, pressure washers, and hydroblasters
- Anything containing water such as pipes, cooling towers, heat exchangers, and scrubbing systems
Do you have any equipment that will need antifreeze to operate freely? Or will some need to be drained every evening to escape freezing and cracking overnight?
Then there’s your most important consideration, your people:
- Hold winterization meetings so all personnel are trained in specific winter operations
- Conduct winter safety training that includes such items as recognizing frostbite and dressing for winter
- Keep on hand winter personal equipment like ski caps, gloves, and uniform jackets
- Equip vehicles with emergency weather kits and cold weather items, like blankets, non-perishable food, water bottles, flashlights, and batteries
- Create a winter weather notification plan for employees in case of office and plant closures due to inclement weather
Finally, winter weather requires special supplies you need to keep on hand. Determine what you need to order and store these in a designated area. Such supplies may include:
- Kerosene for portable heaters
- Fuel for generators
- De-icing compounds for walkways
- Absorbent substances for slippery conditions
- Non-skid material for ramps and/or surfaces
- Wrapping material for pipes
- Emergency supplies such as blankets, portable heaters, shovels, mops, battery-powered radio, flashlights, and tarps, just in case
Don’t let freezing weather interrupt your normal operations. A little preparation will go a long way to ensure your plant runs well this season, as well as arm you against whatever wintry conditions come our way. Environmental Remedies is ready to be your winter prep partner by cleaning equipment that needs to be winterized. Give us a call at 800-399-2783.