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To grit….or not to grit…

grittingAs some areas of the country are seeing their first snow of the winter this week, it is important businesses are seen to be taking reasonable measures to prevent slips and falls as a result of snow and ice.

The wintry weather brings with it additional hazards to premises that must be managed. Slips and trips are one of the most common causes of winter work hazards and we are regularly approached by Clients at this time of year for guidance on when and where to grit.

The Highways Agency and local authorities have responsibility to clear public pathways and highways; but your own car parks, pavements and other privately owned areas are your responsibility.

The Workplace Health Safety and Welfare Regulations 1992, Section 12, ‘Condition of floors and traffic routes’ state that ‘So far as is reasonably practicable, every floor in a workplace and every traffic route in a workplace shall be kept free from obstruction and any article or substance which may cause a person to slip, trip or fall.’

This does not mean clearing every pedestrian route into your buildings or all areas of the car park however, we do encourage businesses to consider the following practical steps: -

  • Provision of grit/salt, shovels and nominated clearance personnel - who should be the first on site any morning to assess gritting requirements and ensure appropriate action taken before other employees and visitors arrive.
  • A Policy and / or Procedure for controlling the risks, for example, reducing the size of the car park in adverse weather, pre gritting/salting, post gritting/salting, establishing cleared high traffic routes, posting warning signs.
  • Ensuring snow removal includes the removal of ice surfaces.
  • Regular recorded inspections of relevant areas, ideally documented, to monitor any deterioration in conditions and assess the need for further gritting or if conditions severe, to restrict access or close premises.
  • A temporary cessation of activities that put your employees, or members of the public at risk.
  • Warning persons exiting the premises to be careful.

Tagged with: Winter Weather

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