THE LAW ON CLEARING SNOW AND ICE
FROM PUBLIC PLACES
There is no law stopping you from clearing snow and ice on the pavement outside your property, pathways or public spaces.
If an accident did happen, it’s highly unlikely that you would be sued as long as :-
- are careful.
- use commonsense to make sure that you don’t make the pavement or pathway clearly more dangerous than before.
- people using areas affected by snow / ice also have a responsibility to be careful themselves.
TIPS AND ADVICE ON CLEARING SNOW AND ICE
- Start early - it’s much easier to clear fresh, loose snow compared to compacted ice that has been compressed by people walking on it.
- Don’t use hot water - this will melt the snow, but may replace it with black ice, increasing the risk of injury.
- Be a good neighbour - some people may be unable to clear snow and ice on paths from their property.
- If shovelling snow, think of where you are going to put it.
- Make a pathway down the middle of the area to be cleared first, so that you have a clear surface to walk on.
- Spreading some salt on areas you have cleared will help stop ice forming - table salt or dishwasher salt will work, but avoid plant growth.
- Pay particular attention to gradients.
- Use the sun to your advantage - removing the top layer will allow the sun to melt any ice underneath, however you will need to cover ant ice with salt to stop it re-freezing overnight.
- If there’s no salt available, sand or ash are good alternatives.
In extreme conditions ask yourself . . . .
- is your journey essential?
- have you checked the weather forecast and road conditions and carefully considered the advice given?
- have you a full tank of fuel?
- does anybody know where you are going and when you hope to arrive?
- would taking warm clothing, hot drinks, good Wellingtons, a torch and shovel be a wise precaution?