The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has debunked the myth that Health and Safety Regulations prevent people from clearing snow. As part of the HSE Myth Busting Panel, Dame Judith Hackitt, the then Chair of the HSE, made the situation clear in the following statement:
“Anyone can clear ice and snow from public spaces, so don’t be put off because you’re afraid someone will get injured. Remember, people walking on snow and ice have a responsibility to themselves to be careful.”
Health and Safety Legislation is designed to protect people where there is a genuine danger that someone could be killed or seriously injured, not to stop people from getting on with their lives and certainly not to stop people from reducing the risk for themselves and others by clearing snow and ice
There are no Health and Safety Regulations that prevent people from clearing snow at their home, their business or at their neighbours’ homes, despite newspaper stories in previous winters to the contrary. You can clear ice and snow from footpaths and pavements but always be careful that you don’t put yourself in danger. The government has put together guidance so people are aware of the facts, including practical tips online for anyone clearing snow at https://www.gov.uk/clear-snow-road-path-cycleway
Furthermore, there are some tips below for frozen paths and driveways:
- Salt and grit can help reduce and clear snow and ice from pathways and drives. Ensure equipment such as snow shovels, salt and grit is available around properties for use during cold periods.
- Try clearing snow early in the day – it’s easier to move fresh, loose snow.
- Don’t use water – it will likely freeze and turn to black ice, causing a serious slip hazard.
- Consider restricting car washing on managed roads and drives during cold periods.
- Think about providing information to all tenants on the risks of slippery steps and pathways during extremely cold periods. If necessary, apply warning signage internally and externally to remind people to take care.