Winter is coming and with it, the cold, bad weather, and frost. The days are getting shorter, darker, and more humid, raising job security concerns.
Production in winter is one of the tasks of every company. As with all hazards, you are legally obligated to protect your business premises and surrounding areas. Here are some important questions: What do I have to consider when I work in winter and what are my responsibilities? How to organize winter work as efficiently as possible?
With this guide, we answer the most frequently asked questions about your obligations in terms of safety and protection against ice, snow, and darkness, and offer you a wide range of essential products for winter.
WHAT GUIDELINES SHOULD I FOLLOW DURING WINTER MAINTENANCE?
Whether snow or ice blankets business facilities in winter or moisture poses a hazard to customers and employees, a traffic safety violation can be costly for your business.
THE FOLLOWING OBLIGATIONS EXIST IN WINTER IN CASE OF ICE, SNOW, AND MOISTURE:
Before you open your business, you must take appropriate steps to allow customers and employees to use your facilities safely, including customer and employee parking spaces.
The scope of the measures to be taken depends on what is necessary to secure traffic and what is mandatory to guarantee security.
It is advisable to clear frozen areas with suitable means.
Watch weather forecast!
With a weather alert, take precautions: for winter maintenance, an alert can be scheduled for employees. If necessary, a manager can monitor weather conditions for you, using weather reports and conducting a brief inspection of company facilities.
Here too, especially predictable weather-related hazards such as frost should be avoided. If the temperature drops below freezing at night or in the presence of frost, and the asphalt or composite pavement in the parking lot does not guarantee immediate and complete drainage of rainwater, you must ensure that the surfaces are easily accessible. safe.
Snow removal and flux spreading
The obligation to remove snow and spread flux is a general traffic safety obligation on roads and paths with snow and ice. You have to make sure no one gets hurt. If the road safety obligation is not fulfilled as prescribed, there is a risk that, if an accident occurs, the injured party may make a claim. To avoid these liability risks in the first place, you must meet the necessary snow removal and fluxing obligations.
If it is continually snowing or freezing, the snow should be dispersed or shoveled several times a day! We recommend leaving walkways one meter wide and free of snow for pedestrian circulation. If there is no sidewalk, clear a one-meter-wide walkway along the entire property line.
We recommend shoveling snow and combating slippery surfaces with fluxing agents (eg sand, gravel). If the material being spread becomes ineffective due to continual ice buildup (for example, with sleet), it may need to be spread multiple times.
What to do with all the snow?
Snow and ice can pile up on the edge of the sidewalk facing the roadway. Large amounts of snow must be cleared so pedestrians and vehicles are not impeded and no longer in danger. Gutters, ravines, entrances, exits, and bike lanes should always be kept clear. Especially at pedestrian crossings, crosswalks and intersections, accumulated snow must not cause visual or other obstructions.
What else is there to consider during flux spreading?
Flux residues should be cleaned up as soon as possible.
A third party can take over the implementation of winter maintenance, but ultimately the responsibility remains with the company.
WHAT FLUXES ARE RECOMMENDED?
Two types of fluxes are used to prevent slippery winter weather:
Deicing fluxes are chemical materials that, due to their properties, cause snow and ice to melt in a physical-chemical way.
Non-slip fluxes that mechanically increase their grip on sheets of ice or packed snow (coefficient of friction).
Sidewalks should be sufficiently sprinkled with sustainable fluxing agents such as grit or sand if ice is present. Wood chips that can absorb moisture are not suitable as de-icing material. Road salt is banned in some countries for ecological reasons. There may be an exception for stairs, steep slopes, and sleet ice. In these cases, a mixture of a maximum of 25% road salt is recommended.
We recommend that you check with your local authority.
What fluxes should I use?
Grit, sand, or granules should be sprinkled to remove ice. It is also economical to spread fine ashes. It's cheapest to clear the area first with a snow shovel or broom. If it is still not possible to walk or drive safely, the anti-slip agents mentioned above are used.
Always pay attention to the surface on which you are applying the fluxes. For example, ash can discolor very light-toned slabs. Any kind of fluxes should also be completely removed in case of thawing. The granulate is easier to sweep up again, collect and, if necessary, reuse at the next onset of winter.
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