Safety In The Snow
Monday 7th December 2020
Direct Training GB Ltd.
As temperatures plummet and the parts of the UK are given yellow weather warnings for coverings of ice and snow throughout the country we thought it would be the perfect time for sharing with you some of our best tips and advice to keep you safe in these cold winter conditions.
In April 2017 it was recorded that between the 1st of April and the 31st March, 7,128 people were admitted to hospital due to injuries that they had incurred by slipping and falling in the snow and ice. NHS England reported that 3,681 of these people were older than 60 years old. Thats more than half the total number of people who were admitted to hospital that year due to injuries on snow and ice. The average length of time that people stayed in hospital due to these injuries was four days.
A good starting point for staying safe in the snow and ice is to thoroughly prepare for any journeys that you have to make, especially if you plan on walking. It is good practice to allow some extra time for you to get from A to B. This means that you can take the journey slowly and walk carefully with purpose. Furthermore, the best way of reducing the risk of slipping is to wear a pair of boots or shoes which have a good grip. If you are out shopping or need to carry bags, try and stay as light as possible and carry as few bags as possible. This will enable you to keep your hands free to balance yourself if you do start to feel unsteady.
Black ice is very dangerous and for this reason it is essential that you keep an eye out for it at all times. If you need to travel up or down a slope then approach it with caution and if possible use an alternative, flatter route. The same applies to stairs. These can be particularly hazardous so if a handrail is available, ensure that you hold onto it and move up and down the stairs with care and caution. It is also a safe idea to try and stick to paths that have been treated or salted.
When you are clearing your driveway of snow, The. Department for Transport (DfT) has issued the following advice and guidance:
- Clear your paths and driveway early as it is easier to move snow which is fresh.
- Do not use water. This is because the water might refreeze and turn into black ice.
- If possible, use salt. Salt will melt the ice or snow and therefore stop it from refreezing.
- Alternatively, ash or sand produce a similar result.
- When you are clearing steps and steep pathways, ensure that you take extra care.
- Shovelling snow can be heavy work so therefore there is the risk of straining your back or even your heart.
- If you are able to shovel snow by yourself, considering lending a hand to others who may struggle such as an elderly neighbour.
Depending on how bad the snow gets, you may be restricted or advised only to travel in circumstances where it is essential to do so. If you are travelling by car, check which roads your council will grit and if you don't have winter tyres on your car then snow socks are a good (and cheaper) alternative. If you are travelling by train it is good practice to consult the National Rail website before you set off. This is because some companies may cancel services at a short notice or run winter timetables which have been amended.