Winter is a magical time, but it also poses serious safety hazards. 

With cold temperatures, snow and ice, it is essential to take proper precautions to ensure the safety of yourself, your employees and your customers. 

Business owners have an added responsibility to maintain clear pathways and car parks to prevent slips, falls and accidents. 

In this blog, we will provide practical tips and guidance to help you stay safe during the winter season, and avoid any legal implications that may arise from improper maintenance.

1. Plan Ahead

One of the most important things you can do to stay safe during the winter season is to plan ahead. 

Identify the areas that require special attention and prioritise cleaning and gritting them as soon as possible. 

Keep an eye on the weather reports and act accordingly. It is always better to be prepared than caught off guard. It’s also wise to keep a record of the maintenance activities and the dates they were carried out. This allows you to demonstrate that you have taken reasonable steps to keep your premises safe.

2. Use the Right Equipment and Products

There are specific products and equipment that are specifically designed for winter gritting. 

It’s crucial to use the right equipment to ensure effective gritting and snow removal. Ensure your grit supplier is reputable and verify that the grit supplied is of a high quality. 

It’s also essential to ensure your equipment is well-maintained and properly serviced. Using improperly maintained equipment can lead to accidents and injuries.

3. Keep Walkways Clear

Maintaining clear walkways is essential to prevent accidents. It’s vital to ensure that all pathways, entrances and exits are kept clear and free from snow and ice.

Pay particular attention to stairs and ramps. Ensure they are gritted regularly and place signs or barriers to indicate areas that may be slippery. It’s also a good idea to have a stock of salt and grit available for people to use when necessary.

Clearing Car Park Of Snow

4. Train Your Staff

Your staff is your best asset when it comes to winter safety. Train them on gritting and snow removal techniques, and make them aware of the risks associated with slips and falls. 

Teach them how to use the equipment, and ensure that they wear personal protective equipment (PPE) if necessary. Encourage them to report any unsafe conditions immediately so that appropriate action can be taken.

5. Keep up With Maintenance

Regular maintenance is crucial to ensure the safety of your employees and customers. 

Check your equipment at the beginning of the winter season to ensure it’s in good condition. 

Regularly inspect your walkways and remove any hazards, including leaves or debris that may have accumulated. Ensure that your lighting is sufficient, and change any bulbs that are out. 

Finally, keep an eye on your gutters and drains to prevent water from pooling on your walkways.

Winter hazards are dangerous and require proper preparation and maintenance. 

The consequences of failing to grit pathways and take reasonable precautions can be severe, ranging from insurance claims to lawsuits. However, with adequate preparation, maintenance and the right equipment, you can avoid accidents and ensure the safety of your employees, customers and visitors. 

By implementing these simple steps, you can help ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable winter season.