The Met Office reported that November’s snowfall was the earliest widespread fall of snow in the UK since 1993. Following the chaos caused by last winter’s snowfalls it doesn’t bode well for the coming months. Health and safety once more became the excuse for virtually every decision and a lot of misinformation was perpetuated. As a result, a lot of good information is now available to help people manage their responsibilities. Last year, if you believed the rumour, you could be sued if you cleared snow from outside your premises and someone fell.
There is no law stopping you from clearing snow and ice from the pavements outside your home or from public spaces. The important thing is to do it carefully, and to remember that people walking on snow and ice have a responsibility to be careful too. The government have published a snow code, the details of which can be found at http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Nl1/Newsroom/DG_191868. The main points to note are:
Clear the snow or ice early in the day
Use salt or sand – not hot water
Pay extra attention to steps or steep pathways
Take care where you are moving the snow to
Offer to clear your neighbours’ path if they are elderly or disabled