Well, we’ve had some pretty hefty snowfall here in the South West! It’s like a winter wonderland outside.
Now we all know that the UK is pretty terrible at preparing for the snow and even more so for when it starts to melt and/or becomes icy.
Preventing falls during icy weather at your school - Checklist for winter safety
Here are some tips to help you prevent slips, trips and falls within your school premises:
- Use grit (or something similar) on areas prone to be coming slippery in frosty or icy conditions
- Consider covering popular walkways with a makeshift shelter or use an insulating material on smaller areas overnight
- Divert pedestrians to less slippery walkways and separate off dangerous routes with a barrier
- If you can’t tackle some paths regularly, let your staff know where you will focus your efforts
- If warning cones are used, remove them once the ice/ snow has gone, otherwise people will just ignore the signs
Pretty unoriginal right? But hey, it works!
The fine art of ‘Gritting’
Rock salt (plain and treated) is the most commonly used ‘grit’. Salt can stop ice forming and cause existing ice or snow to melt.
Gritting areas prone to becoming icy with salt is very important for health and safety. These can be walkways, parking areas, entrances, pathways, playgrounds, vehicle access routes to name a few.
Gritting can prevent slips, trips and falls which could otherwise result in absenteeism of pupils, teachers and the wider staff community. It could also prevent any insurance claims should an accident happen.
Gritting should be carried out when frost, ice or snow is forecast or when the floor temperatures are at, or below, freezing. The best times are early in the evening before the frost settles and/or early in the morning before staff or pupils arrive. Salt doesn’t work instantly; it needs sufficient time to dissolve into the moisture on the floor.
If you grit when it is raining heavily, the salt will be washed away, causing a problem if the rain then turns to snow. Compacted snow, which turns to ice, is difficult to treat effectively with grit.
Shortages of salt in areas of the UK is common place, so it is best to keep a small stock just in case – you can always use it again next year if you need don’t use it all!
A handy tool to help spread salt and grit are seed spreaders (that you might use at home for grass seed). This will help spread the salt evenly and prevent caretakers from hauling heavy bags of salt around with a shovel.
How can iAM Compliant help with winter weather?
Why not create your own protocol or tasks within iAM Compliant to help you stay on top of all things ‘winter’?