16 September 2022

The first frosts are on their way, it's time to plan gritting snow clearance strategies

Advanced planning is key for gritting and snow clearance strategies for the coming winter.

September brings with it the first chills of autumn and as such, acts as a timely reminder to a review your gritting and snow-clearing strategies for the coming winter months.

You may well have experience in dealing with gritting and snow clearing from previous winters, but as the years go by our weather patterns become more unpredictable, so check those plans and look to build in contingency so as not to be caught out by the next ‘beast from the east’.

The first frosts are only a few weeks away and then we are into the season where an early morning frost can easily catch out the unprepared.

It is therefore good practice to appoint a gritting contractor, and one who employs, accurate weather forecasting software. This will allow them to be proactive and timely in when to grit and be ready and available for snow clearance. Calling them for assistance when there is already an issue is not only too late, but it can hinder your operations and staffing levels.  A one-degree Celsius default trigger can assist you here.

Salt is key, and a sufficient supply should always be available onsite, both bagged and loose for ad hoc use. In addition, easily accessible grit bins at remote locations for localised gritting by staff should be well signposted.

As part of the planning process, ensure in advance that all snow clearing, and gritting equipment is checked and stored correctly and ready for use during the gritting season. 

Plan and prioritise site locations:

  1. Roads into and out of the site to assist in cases of emergency i.e. fire, ambulance, and police access
  2. All entrance areas to the buildings
  3. All external emergency exits i.e. walkways, fire escapes, and steps, etc.
  4. Site footpaths
  5. All car parks 

During the past 12 months, conditions on the ground may have changed; new paths and paved areas have been laid, car parks extended or created, and new access roads put in. Ensure that these have been included in your planning and that particularly vulnerable or exposed spots such as raised walkways and bridges are noted and planned for.

Newly planted areas such as freshly seeded grassed areas are vulnerable to salt burn and this should be prepared for in advance so that the edges of these areas are protected.

Now with this checked and covered you can feel confident, and well prepared for gritting and snow-clearing during the coming winter months.


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