To minimise risk from ice and snow in the winter months, we recommend that councils should consider the following:
◦A written risk assessment should be carried out and kept on council files.
◦The council should take reasonable care to ensure the safety of the public, employees and volunteers.
◦All employees and volunteers should be made aware that the clearance of snow and ice could be a seven-days-a-week task (including bank holidays), receive adequate training, and wear the appropriate protective clothing.
◦We recommend that the council communicates its plans to the community. This can be via a website, newsletter, noticeboard or published minutes of a meeting. If plans change this should also be communicated effectively.
◦Once a clearance programme is implemented, it should be maintained for the whole period of adverse weather and plans to manage the process communicated.
◦Where a council takes on the responsibility for clearing snow or ice from paths, it should exercise reasonable care in doing so. Care should be taken in deciding
where to move the snow – making sure entrances, side roads or drains are not blocked. Clear the middle of the path first so that there is a safe surface on which to walk.
◦After the snow and ice has been cleared do not use water as this may cause black ice. Use salt or grit on the treated areas.
◦Also, if the building is to be used over the winter months the council needs to ensure that ‘users’ can enter and leave the building safely which means that if they are not gritting the paths or car park the building should be closed for that period.
For more information on how to minimise risks to unoccupied buildings please get in touch and this is just one guide available for free in the Resource Centre of our web site at https://www.parishinsurance.co.uk/resource-centre/