DIY snow and ice clearing on your premises and public pavements - the facts
It's simply not true that it's against the law to clear snow from public pavements. You're completely entitled to clear your property, and the area in front of it from snow and ice. Those responsible for any establishment have a duty of care to ensure that any means of access is safe for both staff and visitors. This includes keeping risks from snow and ice to a minimum, and any company can be held liable for 'failing to act reasonably' in ensuring that as much as possible is done to prevent accidents caused by snow and ice is a popular misconception that it is against the law to clear snow and ice from pavements.
Here's a quick checklist to help ensure that you have a safer working winter:
For pathways, clear a route roughly one metre wide, giving everyone plenty of room to walk and pass each other safely.
Pay extra care to clearing snow and ice from steps and steep paths - you may need to use extra salt on these areas.
When temperatures remain below freezing, make regular checks to ensure that roads and paths remain clear and snow or ice hasn't started to build up again.
Bear in mind the needs of all your employees & visitors, including disabled and elderly visitors.
Ensure that adequate snow and ice clearing equipment is readily available.
Having these few essentials to hand makes sound sense for everyone over the Winter months
A Safer Winter on the Road
Preparation is the key to safe driving during the short, cold days and dark winter evenings ahead, so before you reach for your car keys, we've got some simple steps to a properly-equipped winter drive.
- Don't rush. It's no fun, but give yourself enough time in the morning to prepare the car. Even if it means getting up ten minutes earlier.
- Clear the whole windscreen, not just a peephole. Use a scraper and de-icer liquid on both the front, back. After a snowfall, remember to clear the roof too, if not, snow can slide down and block your view. Finally, it's worth remembering remember that it's illegal to drive with your screen obscured by dirt, snow or condensation, and as well as an accident, doing so means risking a hefty fine.
- Plan your route to stay on main roads wherever you can - they're more likely to be gritted and cleared.
- Have your car's cooling system anti-freeze levels checked by your garage. It's far, far cheaper than the hundreds of pounds a cracked engine block and radiator will cost to repair.
- Check your wipers - if they look split, are cracked or judder across the screen, replace them. Also, leave them in the 'parked' position overnight. Otherwise they might freeze to the screen overnight, and either rip or damage their drive motor when you switch your ignition on.
- Top up your washer bottle,with screenwash to stop it freezing. Don't use engine anti-freeze though, or you'll wreck the car's paintwork.
- Check your tyres. Treads should be at least 2mm deep - the AA recommend 3mm. Also, stick to the manufacturer's recommended tyre pressures. It's a myth that letting a little air out gives you better grip in the snow. What it actually does is make the car unstable and more difficult to control!
- When you're about to get underway on snow, especially on a slope or hill, select second or even third gear rather than first and gently ease your foot off of the clutch. Putting the power down slowly this way reduces the car's tendency to wheelspin.