The dangers of not gritting your commercial premises
With winter just around the corner, it is sensible to take steps to prepare for the change of weather. With conditions such as frost, sleet and snow you need to ensure that as a business owner you are prepared to meet your duty to keep staff and visitors safe whilst on your premises. Gritting business grounds is essential to combat slipperiness on your site and so prevent people from slipping at the entrance to your warehouse or office, or cars from skidding or sliding in the car park.
When is the best time to grit business grounds?
The weather in the UK is notoriously variable but ice, sleet and snow can be expected at any point from early November with on average thirty-eight days with frost at night and seven days during which it also continues to freeze during the day. You should always keep in mind that there may be frost, sleet or snow in winter. It is advisable to be prepared and book the services of a professional winter gritting contractor in plenty of time to avoid delays.
Private companies are legally obliged to ensure that the areas around their property are kept as safe and clear from snow and ice as possible. Car parks, public spaces, pavements, and entrances to buildings must be kept clear. Health and Safety regulations advise that a company should have a winter policy and gritting schedule to ensure that the necessary work is undertaken when winter weather takes hold. Any accidents that occur during icy or wet conditions on business premises caused by trips and falls on ice could leave you liable to a legal claim by the injured party. As an employer, you have a duty to protect the health and safety of employees and visitors. Employers have to do whatever is reasonably practical to achieve the safety of employees, by assessing the risks within the workplace.
Health and Safety regulations also advise that individuals or businesses should never take it upon themselves to remove snow and ice from public roads and highways. This is because of the likelihood of accidents and other issues that could arise because of the nature of the required work. The movement of snow, for example, during clearance, could lead to problems in another zone. And this could also lead to legal claims for any injuries arising as a result.
Before winter sets in, make sure you have a supply of road salt at home or work. You can then take immediate action in case of snow or ice. Keep your stock of road salt closed, because salt attracts moisture. There are special salt boxes for this, in which you can store road salt so you will always have dry salt when you need it.
As well as avoiding legal action, using the services of a gritting company enhances the reputation of your business. Booking a company early, and being able to stay open and accessible to customers shows that you are organised, professional and take the welfare of customers and clients seriously.
Of course, there are often mild winters in the UK, and you could indeed save some money by not taking precautions against ice and snow. However, this is a risk we would seriously advise against taking. The government have made it clear that the responsibility is on business owners to make sure their grounds are free of hazards and to take steps to reduce the risk of accidents wherever appropriate. With recent lawsuits resulting in payouts of half a million pounds, choosing to save costs by not gritting business grounds and roads on your company premises would be a foolhardy decision and one which could well prove to be a false economy.
This autumn, save yourself some worry by using the services of Grounds Care Group. Knowing that a professional company like ourselves is one hand to ensure your premises are safe, takes one less pressure away. UK Gritting will enable you to have peace of mind knowing that your staff and visitors are safe on your premises during the winter months.