Winter is here and we have all been wondering whether we are in for heavy snow fall; the question will once again be raised, to clear or not to clear?

Every year the question gets asked as to whether snow and ice should be cleared from paths and steps or should pedestrian routes be left untreated. We have been discussing slips & trips claims recently and there are conflicting opinions. In this risk averse society, there are conflicting opinions with many employers frightened of taking common sense or ‘good neighbour’ actions in case they open themselves up to possible claims.

There is some good information issued by the Government in the form of the Directgov website. The webpage offers some excellent, common sense advice and helpful tips applicable to organisations as well as private house owners.

Here is the Direct Gov website’s advice for clearing snow and ice:

When you clear snow and ice:

• do it early in the day - it’s easier to move fresh, loose snow

• don’t use water - it might refreeze and turn to black ice

• use salt if possible - it will melt the ice or snow and stop it from refreezing overnight (but don’t use the salt from salting bins as this is used to keep roads clear)

• you can use ash and sand if you don’t have enough salt - it will provide grip underfoot

• pay extra attention when clearing steps and steep pathways - using more salt may help

• remember, people walking on snow and ice have a responsibility to be careful themselves.