Winter Business Update | Wilson Organisation


January 5, 2021

Winter Business Update

Winter Business Update

Although we are only just starting to see the really cold weather and storms start to bite across some parts of the UK, it is important that businesses understand the problems winter can bring. There are some common issues that can affect every business, whether you remain open during the lockdown or your business is required to close.

Burst or frozen pipes

Ensure your key personnel know where your stopcock is and that it works. Should the worst happen and a pipe bursts, you will need to turn off the supply quickly at the stopcock to prevent flooding and further damage. Do not use any electrics if you think these may have been affected by escaping water. If you discover a frozen pipe, don’t wait for it to burst. Turn off the water supply and gently thaw it with a hairdryer, spaceheater or hot water bottle.

Check your roof and gutters

Loose tiles can easily become dislodged during storms and high winds. Apart from the damage caused by falling tiles, and the danger to those that may be walking beneath, it can lead to damage to the fabric of the building. Dealing with loose or missing tiles is far cheaper than replacing roof timbers. Ensure your gutters and drain pipes are clear of leaves and other debris. If it rains heavily and the gutters overflow this can lead to water getting into the masonry.

Keeping pathways clear

You have a duty of care to ensure that any staff, suppliers or visitors to your business are safe. Unfortunately slips and trips can happen, especially when there is ice and snow on the ground. You should take actions that are ’reasonable in the circumstances’. This can include ensuring that entry and exit routes are kept clear of anything that may cause a person to slip, taking preventative measures such as clearing and gritting paths.Ensure that there is at least one safe route available to access the business as a priority, with additional paths cleared as soon as possible —don’t forget fire exits. Be especially careful and grit as required in the morning, as pathways may refreeze overnight.

Beware temporary heaters!

Some offices and work spaces can be quite chilly in the winter, especially on a Monday morning, so it’s no surprise that at this time of year we see all types of heaters brought into service to ward off the winter chills. Even in an office that’s usually warm during winter should your main heating system fail, electric convertor or fan-assisted heaters may be required as a temporary measure.

Heaters with thermostatic cut-outs that operate in the event of overheating are the best option. Electric radiant heaters and paraffin/oil fired heaters should never be used, even as a temporary measure.

Whatever type of heater is used they should be situated well clear of combustible materials and, where possible, protected against the possibility of being knocked over. Heaters should never be moved when switched on and wherever they are placed or moved to, ensure that trailing cables do not become a trip hazard. 

Temporary heaters should never be left unattended for long periods or used when the building is unoccupied. Check that heaters are switched off as part of the locking-up procedure.

For those situated in an area at risk of flooding we’ve also prepared a flood guide to help prepare and reduce the risk of excessive damage.

For further advice and assistance with any aspect of your business insurance, contact your usual Client Manager.

Over 100 years of innovation

  • 1914

    A successful launch! The Wilson Organisation was founded in Nottingham by Harold Wilson and became the first company in the East Midlands to offer a comprehensive insurance policy to the region’s fast-growing band of automobile drivers. Innovation from day one.

  • 1920s

    During the 1920’s, Wilsons developed its commercial insurance offering under the stewardship of Harold Wilson. Hopping forwards 80 years, Wilsons has developed a number of industry specialisms including a particular expertise in the food and drink sector. We created a unique insurance offering called “FoodProtect” and, through this service, have been able to deliver intelligence and cost-effective insurance programmes to a broad spread of leading food producers. The best thing since sliced bread? Maybe not, but we’re working on it.

  • 1949

    John Prow joined Harold Wilson in the business, marking the first generation of the Prow family’s involvement in The Wilson Organisation. Wilsons’ clients included leading Nottingham firm Boots The Chemist plus a number of operators in the burgeoning railway sector. With post-war regeneration beginning apace, the firm’s fledgling construction expertise quickly developed into one of our leading offerings and this continues through to the present day, with clients including national and regional builders, developers, contractors, sub-contractors and architects.

  • 1960s

    The 1960s were the start of a new era for The Wilson Organisation. Harold Wilson and John Prow died on the same day in 1963, Harold of illness and John in a car crash. This left John’s son, John J Prow, to run the growing business at the age of 27. Under his youthful direction, Wilsons benefited from a new energy and direction. John J Prow, who had joined in 1960 in a new business role, led the move into our current premises at Wilson House in 1964 and then launched the financial services division in the following year.

  • 1990s

    The late 1990s heralded the start of the third generation of the Prow family’s involvement in the business. Managing Director Charlotte Prow joined in 1998, to be followed by the firm’s Chief Executive, Annabel Prow, in 2002. Product and service innovation continued apace with the launch of a corporate finance specialism in 1997, which continues to deliver valuable cost-savings and insights to the region’s dealmakers.

  • 2000s

    Now century on from the launch of The Wilson Organisation in 1914, the company continues to encourage innovation and reward good ideas. Within the financial services team, 2008 marked the launch of “Flex”, a powerful employee benefit programme and the development of “WRAP”, an investment tool with a unique level of investor control and transparency. Meanwhile, our insurance advisers worked quickly to bring to market a specialist insurance policy for insolvency practitioners.

  • 2010s

    2010 saw the launch of the Midlands Family Business Awards by Wilsons, the UK’s only independent not-for-profit Awards for family businesses. Now in their fifth year, the Awards have raised almost £20,000 for charities supporting families and young people. In 2014 we are celebrating Wilsons’ centenary, a significant milestone in Wilsons’ history.

Registered Office:
Wilson House, 1/3 Waverley Street, Nottingham, NG7 4HG

Registered in England Number 862690 - Members of British Insurance Brokers Association

Harold Wilson (Insurances) Ltd. and Harold Wilson Financial Services Ltd. are authorised and regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority)