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The Workplace Winter Snow & Ice Clearing Guide

Posted on November 7th 2016 by Peter.

It’s that time of year again! We’ll find out our big winter coat, hat, scarf and gloves, and brace ourselves to go out in the cold, cold weather.

Each year customers come back to us and stock up on rock salt / grit. It’s essential to keep those outside areas and pathways around your workplace ice free. In recent years we’ve seen the popularity of mechanical spreaders increase. These cost effective spreaders help distribute grit across larger areas such as car parks and long paths. This helps employees get back to their normal jobs quicker when taking on their ice and snow clearing duties.

We get asked each year for advice on the best ways to use our rock salt and spreaders. So we’ve put together a handy list of our top tips, along with a brief explanation for each one.

The Workplace Winter Snow and Ice Clearing Guide

The Workplace Snow & Ice Clearing Guide

Tips on clearing snow and ice from your business outdoor spaces

The first tip we have is: be careful! The last thing anyone wants is for you or a colleague to get injured while trying to clear the way and make things safe for the rest of the company! Keep in mind that regardless of your efforts to clear the way, people walking on areas that are or have been covered in snow or ice have a responsibility to be careful themselves. If you follow the advice below we’re sure you will clear your pathways safely and effectively.

Start early in the day

It’s easier to move fresh, loose snow before people have packed it down by walking all over it.

Clear ice and snow away earlier in the day

This is the best thing to do where possible. Start removing the snow and ice before the majority of people get to work. Remove the top layer of snow in the morning and cover with salt. Any sunshine we may happen to get during the day will help melt any remaining ice.

You’ll want to make sure you have got a decent quality shovel. Ideally it will be made from plastic with an aluminium blade, and will be long enough for your height. This’ll make sure it’s light-weight and easier to shovel the snow. Also make sure you shovel correctly to avoid hurting yourself. You should be fine so long as you don’t overload your shovel. Try pushing the snow around rather than digging and lifting it where possible.

A great tip is to cover your paths and walkways with rock salt before nightfall. This will stop it refreezing overnight and becoming a bigger hazard the next day. It won’t stop the area getting covered with snow again, however It will help with clearing the areas the following morning.

Grit bins

You may be tempted to use the contents of council grit bins around your workplace – but wait! These are for the public to grit roads and footpaths.

Don't use the council's salt on your private property

Unfortunately they’re not for use on private property and the council are likely to remove a grit bin if it’s being ‘misused’ in this way. So, make sure you have your own private supply of grit. Oh, and a nice grit bin to keep it secure in!

Don’t use water

If you use water to melt the snow or ice, it’s more than likely to refreeze and turn into dreaded black ice. People tend to forget about black ice but it’s highly dangerous as it is really hard to spot. You can help to prevent black ice forming by spreading some rock salt on the area you have just cleared.

If you don’t have enough salt or have only just placed an order and are waiting for delivery, you can also use sand or ash. These won’t stop pathways icing over as well as our rock salt would, but will help to provide good grip under foot.

Prevent slips

The last thing you want is to have colleagues or employees having to take time off from work due to an avoidable accident. It’s always a good idea to pay extra attention to clear snow and ice from steps and steep pathways – you might need to use more salt on these areas.

Make sure you visit the Winter Essentials category of our website for the best prices on rock salt, grit bins, snow shovels and ploughs, salt spreaders and much more.

If you have any safety or time saving tips, or if there’s one product you really find essential for those winter months then let us know by leaving a comment below.

The basis of this guide is based on info taken from https://www.gov.uk/clear-snow-road-path-cycleway.
Post originally created in 2014 and is updated each year to reflect current trends and products.

4 thoughts on “The Workplace Winter Snow & Ice Clearing Guide”

  1. Linda Tucker says:

    Hey, thanks for sharing this snow and ice clearing guide for the workplace! I really like that you mentioned clearing it in order to prevent slips. Although you may successfully clean up an area, you probably want to continue to clean it up until you’re sure accidents won’t occur easily. The last thing you want is a bunch of your coworkers injured because the stairs were too slippery!

    1. Peter says:

      Hey Linda, thanks for adding your tip!

  2. Alice Steiner says:

    Hi, I put down this rock/ salt on our ramp after a day & a half of very cold mixture of freezing rain and snow ! The sky is beautiful blue & the temperature outside is so cold, the degrees factors don’t really matter now, reason being the stuff We purchased at a local store didn’t melt anything, as a matter of fact it froze on top of everything! Here’s my problems: I’m taking care of my mom whose, by the grace of the Good Lord is 91 years young & my dog is 14 in our years! This mixture feels like I’m walking on sharp objects & basically l’ve no clue as to get rid of it! I’m up for anyone’s advice, cause frankly I’m out of ideas! SO pLEASE HELp!!! Thank you!!

  3. Alice Steiner says:

    Ok Thank-you

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