0808 278 3706



Skip to Content

Tips For Dealing With Colder Winters

Tractor-towed salt spreader

The UK enjoyed a decade of mild winters between 1998-2008, but in the early part of the 2010s the cold season was definitely getting colder. Throughout January to March 2013, the average temperature was 3.3° C, half a degree down on the 1981-2010 average of 3.8° C.

More recently Met Office statistics have shown that the average mean value from December 2020 to February 2021 was 0.2% below the 1981-2010 average at 3.5° C

But aren't temperatures rising?

The temperature in the UK over the 10 years from 2010-2020, was recorded as the second-hottest decade of the past 100 years. Record-breaking temperatures were recorded in the summer of 2019 when on July 25th a balmy 38.7 degrees was captured in Cambridge, UK. This made it into the record books as the highest ever recorded temperature in the UK.

So, why is more snow and ice appearing?

One of the possible culprits that may have caused this change is global warming. The rise in our planet's overall temperature has melted the ice caps, causing a flow of cold water from the Arctic that is weakening the Gulf Stream. This is the weather system responsible for the UK's pleasant weather, without which many experts say we would have a climate that's similar to the Russian capital, Moscow.

These changes can bring on sudden cold snaps, such as those we saw in March 2018, remember ‘The Beast from The East’? And then again more recently, in February 2021, when we were out building snowmen once more?

A Stiff Upper Lip

However, one thing for which the UK is famous, is the ability of its population to adapt and come together in difficult circumstances. We're not the type of people to let a bit of cold weather and snow get in the way of our daily lives! Most workers brave their way through even the most treacherous of conditions to make it to their place of work.

Although we like to lean on the authorities in times like this, is there more that businesses could do to help out their employees and customers during our sudden cold snaps?

During the pandemic of 2020 we saw a multitude of workers with no option but to work from home. This method of working has become so commonplace that many employers are likely to allow their staff to 'WFH' when it’s troublesome travelling weather too. However, for those businesses who cannot offer this option to their employees, we've got a number of helpful tips:

Make Your Wheels Safe

Each year over 1000 people are fatally injured as a result of vehicle collisions during snowy and icy conditions. Did you know, it takes up to 10 times longer for a vehicle to stop when driving on snow or ice than on a clear dry road? If you have a number of staff travelling to work in company owned vehicles, then it's important to check that their transport is up to the task of dealing with ice and snow compromised roads. Tyres are the number one concern. These should have enough tread on them to cope with treacherous conditions, and if you have any vehicles with softer performance tyres, then you should swap these out for a hard-wearing winter type. You could also invest in some vehicle snow socks which fit over your vehicle's wheels to improve grip.

You can further ensure the safety of your staff by providing an emergency kit in every company vehicle. This could include a motorist car first aid kit, a torch, an emergency foil blanket and a folding snow shovel that can be used to clear drifts and free up a stuck car or van. Reminding staff to have a fully-charged mobile phone is also advisable in case they need to call for assistance.

Dangerous Paving

Pedestrian areas that are usually safe can become dangerous places during snow and icy weather. All too often, local councils focus on making sure the roads are free from hazardous materials, which leaves slush, snow and ice piled up round the curb and onto the pathway. If you operate a retail business, you may want to take matters into your own hands and clear the pathways around your premises for your customers. The ideal way to do this is with a hand operated salt spreader, which can help you quickly and easily remove both the snow and any hard packed ice on important walkways.

De-Icing Business Roads

With city council resources under constant pressure to meet a huge breadth of demands, it may be the case that not all roads in your town or city are gritted during outbreaks of harsh winter weather.

Thoroughfares on local business parks could come at the bottom of the local authority's priority list. If you're expecting a lot of deliveries or customers this could have a negative effect on the smooth running of your business. However, it is possible to purchase a vehicle towed grit spreader that can be attached to any vehicle with a hook system, allowing you to free up the roads round your business with considerable ease. You could even sell such a service to your business neighbours!

Plough Through It

When snow first comes to rest on concrete or cement it's considerably easier to clear than after it's laid for a while, and has been compacted by vehicle tyres and feet. If you own a business with a car-park, then you can use a very simple hand-operated snow plough to keep any area free from loose snow. This might require a little bit of effort in the first place, but the potential money saved from preventing damage to your own and customers’ vehicles can dramatically outweigh the elbow work.

Always Have a Plan

Finally, whilst we can't predict exactly when cold weather will occur, we can be sure that at some point during the winter months there will be outbreaks of snow, blizzards and generally miserable climes. By making contingency plans for the coming freeze, you can ensure that you're prepared to deal with the problems it may bring head on, ensuring both you and your customers make the best of a bad situation.

stock up on winter essentials now

Photograph of Debs

Author Bio -

Digital marketer, social media, content writer, musician, sloth-lover, tea-drinker.