Met Eireann have issued today (17th February 2022) Status Red and Orange warnings ahead of Storm Eunice. They have said gusts of more than 130km/h are forecast as the storm tracks across Cork and Kerry. An Orange wind warning will be in place for 14 counties as Eunice tracks quickly over the country bringing severe and damaging winds, which will reach mean speeds of more than 80km/h. There will be falls of rain, sleet and snow also, with the snow mainly in Connacht and Ulster, and an Orange Snow warning for Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, Mayo, Roscommon, with blizzard-like conditions in parts with treacherous driving conditions. The warning will be in effect from 3.00 am until 3.00 pm tomorrow.
ISME are recommending that all businesses and employers take a proactive approach to minimize the disruption. This means putting contingency plans in place, advising employees of what will happen and ensuring the there is sufficient planning to offset any potential loss.
Remember, there is no way to account for Mother Nature, however with the right planning you can limit the amount of impact to your company, employees and customers.
It is important to consider how a severe weather incident will impact your business:
- Is your premises prepared for the impact that snow or large amount of water?
- Do access points require additional support? (Grit / Salt / etc.)
- Are waste water drains cleared?
- Is there damage that requires repair on the roof or external walls?
- Is there adequate insulation on the locations plumbing?
- Are you adequately insured to cover potential loss associated to weather damage?
- What local agencies are in a position to support you should your business require support?
- Consider how a business decision will be made as to whether or not closure is necessary. Who will make the decision and more importantly, how will this decision be communicated to employees?
- Are the contact details for all of your employees up to date?
- Can employees be issued with equipment that facilitates remote working from home?
- How will the company respond with regard to payment in the event of a closure?
Where there is no closure:
- What support will be offered to employees to deal with the conditions?
- Has the company conducted a full Risk Assessment based on the activities of the team members that are affected by the decision to remain open?
- Have the employees been briefed, and where necessary trained, on the findings of the Risk Assessment?
Employers have a duty of care for all employees under the Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, and must give due consideration if it is safe to ask employees to travel to work, or to undertake their work.
It is imperative that an appropriate Risk Assessment is conducted to ensure that management makes an informed decision and that no employee’s Safety is put at Risk unnecessarily.
Adverse Weather Preparation Guide
Members can view the full guide here