It is amazing how different working life is in the summer. With the sun out nearly all day long and shorts being an acceptable part of the dress code, the office is barely recognizable from the rest of the year.

When the winter months drop their special blend of weather, flu and darkness onto the working masses, it affects more than just the temperature.

We need to be prepared for the impact that the change in weather conditions will bring and we need to know how to handle what it will bring.

The Roads

It does not matter if you drive for a living or if you just drive to work. The changes in the road conditions will affect every single one of us. Even just starting the car can take ten minutes longer, when you have to de-ice the windscreen and make sure you can see out of every window.

It is very easy to hope that you’ll get away with only clearing a small patch, but just imagine having to explain why you caused an accident because you didn’t have the time to de-ice a window.

The roads themselves will be icy at some point and you will have to adjust your driving to suit the conditions. Extra breaking distances between vehicles and slowing down before corners will become normal in the dark months winter brings.

Your car should be ready for the wintery conditions. We don’t really need snow tires in Britain, but your tires should have a good level of tread to them and be able to handle the conditions. Your screen wash should be topped up and be able to handle the negative temperatures.

It is the little things which make your car ready and your journey safe to work.

When You Are At Work

The winter months can make a few normal, day-to-day tasks, a little more entertaining, with slippery conditions and impractical clothing.

If it is cold outside and you are wearing gloves to keep warm, try to use fingerless gloves when you need to move anything. Whilst gloves are great for keeping your hands warm, they often provide no gripping ability at all.

Check how a ladder has been set up before climbing it. Are the feet on a slippery or snow-covered surface? Get the basics right and you’ll be fine. Check your own shoes to see if you have anything clogging up your grips and making your journey up the ladder too dangerous.

The most obvious change in the work environment during the winter months is the late sunrises and early evening darkness. Wearing high-visibility clothing is one way to ensure that you are seen by anyone and everyone. At least if they can see you, they should be able to avoid you.

If you do have an accident at work, and it is not your fault, then you really should speak to a professional at to see how they can help you get back on your feet and help you carry on whilst you are unable to work.