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Hunter Help for Staying Safe this Winter

At this time of year, it’s important to stay safe in the cold, wet and icy conditions. Here are our tips for keeping safe during the winter months. We’re always on hand for advice to help keep you safe, so give us a call on 01977 878389 or email info@huntersafetysolutions.com if you have any concerns.


Road Safety

We need to adapt the way we drive in winter and be prepared for journeys that may take us through very varied weather, road and traffic conditions. Knowing about road conditions and weather forecasts beforehand will help inform whether and how journeys can be undertaken, so listen to local radio weather and traffic reports or visit www.highways.gov.uk for details.

When planning a journey you should take account of:

  • Road type – you may wish to avoid rural roads, for example
  • Hazards such as unsalted/ungritted roads
  • Traffic density – time your journey to avoid peak traffic hours
  • High-risk features, such as steep hills
  • Sufficient rest stops
  • Ensuring the vehicles contains adequate equipment

Ensure your vehicle is prepared for winter and remains in a good condition throughout the season, such as checking your tyre treads regularly. Make sure you allow enough time each morning to de-ice your vehicle if needed, and to avoid rushing on the often unsafe road surfaces.

You also need to consider whether, when conditions are very severe, journeys need to be undertaken at all. The best thing to do in extremely bad weather is to stay off the roads altogether and take notice of any warnings from official sources to not continue with your journey.


Outdoor Safety

Outdoor slips, trips and falls are more likely to occur in the winter months. During times when pavements and footpaths are covered in snow/ice:

  • Wear sturdy footwear with a good grip
  • Take it slowly and allow yourself extra time to get from A to B
  • Keep an eye on what is underfoot as some places will remain icy for longer
  • If councils have provided grit bins, use them

The consequences of a fall can be more serious for older people, so some special tips for them are:

  • Minimise the need to go out by asking friends or neighbours to shop for you or take you where you need to go
  • Plan a safe route to where you are going to avoid slopes, steps and areas that have not been gritted (don't take shortcuts through areas where slipping hazards are greater)
  • Consider using a stick or better still, a walking pole and take slow, small steps
  • Use rails or other stable objects that you can hold on to
  • Wear extra layers to protect the more vulnerable parts of your body like your head, neck and spine
  • Wipe your feet well when entering buildings

When clearing snow/ice, there are two key points to remember:

  • You must not make conditions worse, such as boiling water over the pavement which will create a sheer icy surface
  • You must do a good job and keep on top of it, reacting to changing conditions and tackling an area more than once


Home safety

Consider getting timers for the lights in your house as the dark nights close in, to ensure your house looks lived in at all times.

Cold weather puts people at risk of hypothermia, particularly the elderly. To avoid this, try to move about at regular intervals, drink plenty of hot drinks and eat regularly. Wearing several layers of thin clothes can also help to reduce the risk.

 

For more information on winter safety, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. 

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