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Slipping Standards

04 January 2011

Britain grinds to a halt at the fall of the first snowflake, but by following the Snow Code and using with snow clearing equipment, many individuals and organisations will continue to provide access to their property and car parks

Snow brush

WINTER CAME EARLY THIS YEAR with most parts of the country struggling to function in heavy snow. In the US and Germany, Austria and Switzerland the public is expected to help keep the streets clear of snow. Most German towns have a ‘street cleaning statute’ and snowshovelling requirements are spelled out in detail, even down to the minimum width of the cleared area and the time during which you must keep the snow cleared.
In the UK there has been confusion on a theoretical legal risk if you clear the pavement in front of your home. In February last year, the Government attempted to clarify the position by issuing its Snow Code (www.direct.gov.uk). It states “There's no law stopping you from clearing snow and ice on the pavement outside your home or from public spaces. It's unlikely you'll be sued or held legally responsible for any injuries on the path if you have cleared it carefully. Follow the Snow Code when clearing snow and ice safely.”
Provided that they are reasonable and careful it is unlikely that a member of the public would face any legal liability, and those using the road or footway have a responsibility to be careful themselves.
The position for employers is covered by the The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Occupiers Liability Act. A responsibility is placed upon the employer, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the means of access and egress from its premises are maintained in a condition that is safe and without risk to either its employees or other persons.
With snow fall so unpredictable across th UK with some areas receiving nothing while others are swamped, the issue of how to clear snow quickly and effectively with minimal manpower and cost is an important one for FMs.
In response to last year’s severe winter weather, landscape and groundcare machinery experts Tracmaster, extended its BCS Crusader range of specialist snow clearing machinery by adding a salt spreader. Offering effective snow and ice clearance as well as year-round groundcare, the Crusader range will clear all types of snow; from pushing aside and sweeping it, to throwing and propelling snow up to 16m away.
Four different implements can be attached to the Crusader power unit to cover all the snow tasks:
● The Salt Spreader is designed to handle salt, sand, granulated fertiliser or similar dry material. Providing accurate salting, the width of the salt spray can be controlled to cover areas as small as 0.76m or as wide as 3.65m, ensuring only the areas that need salt are treated. Meanwhile, a large 100kg capacity hopper reduces the number of trips to the salt bins to re-fill the unit.
● The Dozer Blade/Snow Plough is suitable for many different applications and is easy to manoeuvre, simply shovelling snow in its path and thus creating an access way. It is easily adjustable between three positions allowing the snow to be pushed to either side or straight ahead.
● The Snow Brush effectively clears a surface of snow making the terrain instantly safe for pedestrians and cars. Designed to manage heavy duty sweeping applications the snow brush is ideal for clearing block paving, synthetic turf, car parks and yards, as well as clearing snow from pavements and tarmac.
● The Snow Thrower has an impressive propulsion capability. It will clear all types of snow from frozen chunks, to wet snow, breaking it up and propelling it up to 16m away with its easy to angle stainless steel discharge chute. Featuring adjustable skid shoes for straightforward height selection depending on terrain, including gravel paths and driveways. Tracmaster’s Crusader range comes in two sizes: the BCS615L power unit features a 6.5hp Honda petrol engine, two forward gears and one reverse, and is ideal for both confined areas and more open spaces up to 2-3 acres. Meanwhile, the larger Crusader BCS630, has a 9hp Honda petrol engine, three forward speeds and one reverse. Aimed at professional landscapers, contractors and councils, the unit boasts increased manoeuvrability, featuring a locking differential and steering brakes to aid turning.
The Tracmaster’s BCS Crusader range has a role thoughout the year since its other attachements include a scythe, rotary mower, mulching mower, flail mower, hay rake, chippershredder, power brush, and power brush and collector.
Alex Pitt, Sales and Marketing Director, said “Tracmaster has been supplying groundcare machinery for over 25 years and this latest range of snow and ice clearing machinery has been developed in response to customer demand using our proven, expert knowledge in high performance and durable products.”
Case study
Tracmaster helped St Peter & St James Hospice in Chailey, East Sussex, remain open last month during the severe winter weather. The West Sussex-based company lent the hospice snow clearing equipment last week to maintain essential access to the centre during the heavy snow and ice.
Last winter access to this beautiful rural location became difficult due to heavy snow so this year the hospice contacted Tracmaster to ensure it was prepared for snow. In response Tracmaster offered to lend the Hospice a snow brush, which effectively clears a surface of snow making the terrain instantly safe for pedestrians and cars. Liz Kinning, FMat St Peter & St James Hospice explains: “We are grateful for Tracmaster lending us the snow clearing equipment. We have had very heavy snow the past few days, however, the snow brush has been a great help in keeping the pathways, driveway and car park free of snow to ensure the hospice services continue uninterrupted

Snow Thrower


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