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Clearing Snow and Ice - Don't Believe The Hype

Given the recent harsh winters, there is a good chance that we will have some snow in the new year (if not already).

Tim Pryke

People under- standably want to

clear snow and ice from their path- ways and affronting pavements. However, due to a general misunder- standing and misreporting of person- al injury cases that has fuelled the public perception of a 'compensation culture' (which statistically does not exist), people have become reluctant to take any positive action to clear pathways for fear of being sued by someone who is injured as a result of slipping over.

However, anyone can clear snow and ice from the pavement outside their home or public spaces to prevent slips and falls and you should not be put off doing so.

Following on from recent harsh win- ters the government has issued advice to anyone who is unsure about attempting to clear snow and ice away from their drives or paths.

Despite media reports, it is extremely unlikely that someone who has attempted to clear snow in a careful manner will be sued or held legally responsible if someone slips or falls on their property and people should not be deterred from performing a socially responsible act.

Whilst a person endeavouring to clear snow and ice should ensure that they are not making the area more danger- ous, those walking on snow and ice have a responsibility to be careful themselves and appreciate the clear slipping hazard that snow and ice will invariably present. A common sense approach is encouraged.

 Try and move the snow and

ice as early in the day as possible. it is easier to clear away fresh snow than that which has packed together and hardened through people walk- ing on it. Also, by moving the snow away early it will enable the person to put salt or grit down on the path to stop it freezing again overnight.

 Grit salt or sand should be

used rather than water. Water can refreeze and turn into black ice, therefore making the area more hazardous than it was before it was cleared.

 Take care where you are moving snow to.

Don't block other people's paths or drains. Try and clear from the middle of the area first and then move snow from the middle out to the sides.

 Offer to clear neighbours' paths, especially if they are elderly or disabled.

We at Margary + Miller wish you all a very happy and safe new year!

Miles Vartan

organisation to implement the Company's H&S policy on a consis- tent basis - "I can't do everything"  "We are SO busy"

Don't forget the basics

When discussing Health & Safety at work, a good place to start is always the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. This leg- islation explains exactly what your company needs to adhere to in the

eyes of the law and is the Act that will be referred to in most interven- tions from the HSE either in terms of an inspection or an investigation fol- lowing an accident.

Once you are happy that your compa- ny has identified the risks that your employees face when working, have procedures and equipment in place to manage these risks down to zero or consistently safe levels and that any- one coming 'into contact' with what you do or provide will be safe then please, please make sure that you implement these measures.

There seem to be common factors for this not being the case:  You pay for H&S material to

be provided and leave it on the shelf, often unread  You do not make time to

consider the importance of imple- menting what you know is right  There are not suitably moti- vated or qualified staff within the

To get your mind around the subject, start from the principle that you want all members of staff, employees and contractors to go home in the same state that they came into work...

Each employee has their own respon- sibility in supporting this aspiration & never stop reminding them of this. Successfully managing to involve the staff in H&S matters will make the successful implementation and run- ning of your policy infinitely easier

The next step on your journey to improving the safety environment at work is to enforce what you say you should do - unless you do this, 'learnt' behaviour will quickly become the norm and if it is an unsafe prac- tice, then this is going to perpetuate until you put it right

As we reach the beginning of 2012, get off to a good start with Health & Safety at Work and make your place of work a safer place to be.... Happy New Year!

Craft Fair Sat 14th Jan

Felixstowe Leisure Centre 12.30 pm until 5.30pm Free Admission

For more local events see the What's On guide starting on page 24 or visit

Please mention the Flyer when responding to advertisements.


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