Snowflakes make children happy, but sometimes these ice crystals can create real problems and cause dangerous falls.
Problems arise especially when snow falls at weekends, and on Monday mornings the streets are crowded with people who have to get to work and are sometimes oblivious to the extent to which icy roads are a hazard.
Due to icy roads, insurers record four times as many accidents and falls on the flat every year compared to other days.
Smooth surfaces become people’s worst enemies, together with areas that never get any sunlight, as they are capable of quickly melting ice.
How can we avoid this dangerous, much-loved and even acclaimed hazard during the winter period?
A recent survey has revealed the fact that accidents due to slipping, tripping and falling are very common in the workplace, not to mention when cold weather brings dangers with it, i.e. ice and snow.
This problem also occurs near public places and buildings.
Employers have the task and responsibility to minimise the danger and, consequently, the number of such accidents as far as possible.
First of all, you need to identify the places and people most at risk and then take any necessary precautions and draw up a document that lists all the risks and assesses them.
In low temperatures, there are two categories of hazard: outdoor activities and the risks associated with sudden changes in temperature (when they are extreme).
Special attention needs to be paid to smooth surfaces, where it’s easier for water to condense in the hottest hours and then turn into a very thin layer of ice; to surfaces where water may drip, accumulate and then freeze; to areas in the shade and north-facing areas; to surfaces and areas that are usually wet and therefore at greater risk of freezing.
In the case of snow, the risk increases, as there is always a layer of ice hidden underneath, and traffic on roads becomes more hazardous and complicated.
You need to bear in mind a few tips to avoid injury. The first one may certainly seem trivial, but watching the weather forecast helps a great deal in getting ready for a snowfall. As a precaution when leaving your home during a snowfall, you should at least wear the right size shoes with non-slip soles. Hold on to a handrail every time you go up steps, which are certainly very dangerous when covered in ice. In the morning, if you see snow outside, one tip is to leave before your usually time to avoid the risk of having to go fast or go at an unrecommended speed when the roads are covered in snow and, of course, ice. When walking, you should use sections of pavement where snow has already been shovelled or trampled by others. If this isn’t possible, use non-slip crampons to walk directly on snow or ice.