Driving as part of your job becomes much more difficult when snow and ice is around. Members who drive lorries or delivery vans can really struggle in winter weather.
Here are some useful pointers for drivers, their health and safety reps and their employers.
- Drivers and managers should check the weather forecast and road conditions to consider other routes in bad weather and allow extra time for the journey.
- There should be a system to alert the depot if a driver fails to arrive at expected delivery points and to check that all drivers do return to base.
- Employers should provide refresher training on defensive driving in winter.
- Uniform jackets, trousers etc. should be suitable for winter conditions. If hi-vis jackets are worn over other clothing they should be big enough to fit over bulkier winter wear.
- It should be clear that the final decision to travel or to attempt to deliver at any location lies with the driver. If the weather deteriorates once they have left the depot or if a delivery location is unsafe, there should be a clear procedure for the driver to follow.
- Pre-shift checks on tyres, windscreen washers, brakes, lights, etc. are even more important in winter.
- Winter tyres can make a big difference to driving on snow and ice or on wet roads when the temperature is close to freezing.
- Spare warm clothing, a blanket, hot drinks, a torch, a shovel and suitable footwear are all essential survival kit for winter weather.
For all of us, travel to and from work can be a problem when snow and ice is around. Members are advised to follow Government advice on whether it is safe to travel at www.gov.uk
and search winter driving.