When owning a business the summer period is a prime time to carry out any beneficial or essential maintenance work that needs completing on your commercial property. This not only ensures regular checks to identify whether everything is still in correct working order, but also offers good weather conditions to rectify any changes that need making to the property before the harsh weather conditions return. Here at National Testing we’ve put together some useful starter points for you to consider actioning this summer.
All roofing should be checked at least twice yearly to maintain safety and to minimise costly damage. Severe weather conditions during winter are a primal factor in roof damages, however it can be unsafe for a person to tackle these issues at such a time due to the wet and slippery surfaces occurring in those winter months.
Broken and loose tiles can be a common problem that occur so it is suggested you record the location of any slipped slates or tiles before replacing them. In doing this, you can establish if further checks need to be taken into account for certain areas of the roofing system.
Although broken tiles are common, there are other maintenance checks that should be carried out to assist in further safety measures. For example, any cracks or gaps on roofing should be assessed to check for any potential water leaks or damage from rust, depending on your roof material. Moss is a likely build up on roofing, so be sure to check with a professional whether this can be removed on a regular basis; if left, it can lead to all kinds of roofing problems. Similarly, clean any debris or leaves that have built up in roof valleys or trapped underneath duckboards.
Gutters and drainage
In addition to cleaning leaves and any other debris from your roof, it is essential to do the same with your gutters, including bird nests. This will assist in reducing water contamination and any blockages which can result in costly work carried out by external professionals. There are numerous mechanisms that can assist in supporting you keeping gutters and drainage systems clean such as bird/leaf guards, silt traps and drain rods. You should still ensure that bird/leaf guards and silt traps are emptied regularly; it is advised this is done at least quarterly, however the more often, the more benefit you will see. If water insists on collecting or pooling near your premises, consider installing a water butt to collect the rainwater, to avoid slip hazard areas.
Gas & Electrics
In such a modern technological age, it is paramount to maintain electrical safety, to avert any serious injury or fatality occurring. If such an accident where to take place on your premises, and you cannot provide details of regular and professional electric maintenance, you will be held liable. All electrical items should be PAT (Portable Appliance Testing) tested on a yearly basis: more often if such items are used in daily routine. Any appliances that are deemed unsafe or broken, should be clearly marked as such, and be out of use until corrected. All new electrical appliances should be installed by professional electricians.
Gas safety checks have to be carried out every 12 months by a licensed gas engineer, this will ensure all gas appliances and corresponding pipe work are safe for use. It is good practice to keep accurate information detailing when these checks take place, and any precautions identified as an outcome. This will support you in any liability you may face if a gas related incident was to take place.
Indoor and outdoor flooring is essential when carrying out maintenance checks as it protects not only the employer legally but also helps prevent any harm from slips and trips coming to staff and other persons visiting your premises
Indoor flooring materials are more prone to wear and tear from high footfall, whether made from solid material such as timber or softer components such as carpet. It is important to ensure that maintenance is regular and up to date to avoid hazards, as approximately 40% of all accidents reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are attributed to slips, trips and falls, yearly. To prevent such accidents occurring, you can employ external professionals to carry out pendulum slip tests. Using a specialist instrument, the slipperiness of flooring is accurately measured to pinpoint any slip potential under different conditions: mainly dry and wet. This can then be used to identify whether any changes or adjustments need making in order to keep your flooring at the correct slip resistance for it’s purpose.
As previously discussed, excess water from weather conditions and/or drainage systems can cause unwanted pools of water. This can encourage the floor surface to become slippery, especially when mixed with wet leaves and debris. As with indoor flooring, use preventative measures before an accident occurs and carry out regular pendulum slip tests. The summertime is also a good time of year to ensure outdoor lighting is in full working order to improve visibility in these more danger prone areas. For spaces with poor visibility, consider improving this by either installing extra lighting, or enhance your current system.
For a full interior and exterior floor inspection of your business property call our team at National Testing today. We can carry out a full risk assessment to identify whether any changes are needed for a safe, slip resistant environment. We take care of testing all types of flooring materials from stairs to roads and paths, supplying you with comprehensive yet easy to understand reports as accredited by UKAS.