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The Top Risks Fallen Leaves Can Cause To Your Business

As well as being unsightly, fallen leaves can become a health and safety risk

You wouldn't think twice about clearing snow, or putting down grit on icy days, but did you know that wet leaves can be just as dangerous? In fact, car manufacturers Ford studied this exact thing to improve the safety of their vehicles. Friction measurements found that wet leaves, retaining water on both sides, slip against roads and footpaths on the bottom, as well as shoes (or tyres) on the top!

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Why Are Fallen Leaves A Problem?

Your staff, and your customers, need to be safe whilst on your property. By clearing up leaves, you're doing your bit to reduce this potential slip hazard.

Falling on slippery leaves can lead to serious injuries, and you have a responsibility to keep staff and customers safe.

Remember that clearing up leaves is within your power, but some risk factors are not. You can't control what shoes people wear when they visit your business premises, and you can't stop young children from running - as much as you wish you could! With so many risk factors that are out of your control, it's especially important to take charge wherever you can.

Where Should You Be Clearing Up Leaves?

Leaves are a risk to anything that moves. You should be clearing walkways, but also make sure that any car parks or roads are as leaf-free as possible.

Just as shoes can lose their grip on slippery leaves, so can car tyres. You might think that wet leaves can cause little damage, but imagine an out-of-control car skidding over your car park or a frail elderly customer’s shoes losing their grip on the pavement.

Wherever people are walking or driving, make sure that leaves are properly cleared.

Is It As Simple As Sweeping The Leaves Away?

Whilst whole and complete leaves are a hazard easily cleared, you should also watch out for smaller bits of leaf litter and detritus. These are harder to clean away but can be compacted underfoot to create a slippery mulch. Autumn leaves, in particular, will easily crack and break. Little pieces of leaves might be harder to see and more difficult to move, but their impact can be just as significant.

You may be tempted to use water to wash the leaves away. Just be careful, in the colder months, that this water does not become slick ice. Even as water, it's potentially a risk on smooth ground.

Only use water when you know that you can effectively move it away, on grippy surfaces where the wet ground won't become a hazard in its own right, and not in sub-zero temperatures where it can turn into ice.

To keep your business looking its best, with a safety record you can be proud of, why not call in the professionals for clearing up leaves? Weedfree Landscapes are a good place to start. Get in touch to learn about the best options for you and your business.

Image source: Pixabay

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Tim Bower
Post by Tim Bower
October 28, 2019
Tim Bower is the Director of Weedfree and is an expert in grounds maintenance and keeping your business looking great all year round.