Let It Snow, But Be Ready

9 12 2010

The appearance of snow each year signals a seasonal change that typically includes a checklist for coping with winter. At home, this means finding the shovel, making sure there is plenty of ice-melt on hand, checking for dangerous icicles overhead, and watching that the dog’s paws don’t get iced up when outside playing. For those working in the not-for-profit world, the list is a slightly longer one.

Winter weather brings hazards, which means it’s time to make sure policies are updated and ready to deal with inclement weather issues such as agency closures, snow clearing, communicating cancellations and responding to utility outages. It’s also flu season – time to check that appropriate policies are on the books to deal with infectious outbreaks, employee absenteeism, management coverage and on-call duties. It’s a good time to review these policies with employees and volunteers, and to institute any necessary updates. Risk management policies are vital tools in the effort to keep everyone safe, and your entire team should be up to speed on their responsibilities.

Public Health officials are a good source for information and assistance with policy development concerning pandemic or infectious outbreak as well as universal precautions for dealing with everything from bloodborne pathogens to sanitary practices.

A policy and procedure tune-up should be considered essential at this time of year. Haven’t done it yet? The time is now…it’s snowing.

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