Frost protection update December 2011
Guidance issued by Bradford Council Occupational Safety Unit
The problems of policy concerning snow and ice clearance on school sites can be confusing and mixed. A ruling in the courts against the Authority has resulted in the following definitive instructions.
In the event of snow fall or icy conditions at the beginning of the school day the Caretaker(s) should clear a path, approximately three feet wide from the main school gate to the main entrance of the school and treat it with a mixture of sand and salt.
As soon as is practically possible, as a matter of priority, the Caretaker should then clear and treat similar paths between the main school building and any regularly used out buildings. Paths serving other entrances to the school may be cleared as, and when,
possible but it should be borne in mind that if a path is cleared, as a recognizable path, it must be maintained in a safe condition.
All staff, pupils, parents and if possible, visitors must be informed which entrances will be cleared in the event of snow and ice. It is not the duty of the Caretaker(s) to clear snow from car parks or to clear paths from car parks to the school buildings
and staff and visitors should be made aware of this.
Rock salt should only be used to melt ice and frozen snow. Grit or a mixture of grit/sand and salt should be used to provide a grip on dangerous surfaces.
When snow and icy conditions develop during the school day Caretakers should, as a matter of priority, carry out the above procedure and staff, pupils and parents should be advised of the situation.
Caretakers should note that once recognised paths have been cleared and notified, every possible effort must be made to maintain them in a safe condition.
Snow and Ice Clearance
Reasonable effort must be made to clear a pathway, from the public pathway across to the site entrance/doorway.
If a path is cleared, as a recognisable path, it must be maintained in a safe condition. In achieving this, it is important to realise the limitations of rock salt alone for certain paths (ie on a slope), and climatic conditions.
Rock salt will melt snow and ice. However, the melting snow and ice can, on a slope, wash the salt away. In low temperatures, this can also cause the area to freeze again.
Premises with sloping paths might have these special problems, and extra care will be needed in these circumstances.
Rock salt and sand/grit, while performing the above task, is more likely to hold the salt on slopes and, if the area does freeze again, has the advantage of leaving a residue, which provides a grip on surfaces.
Frost protection advice