Advice for volunteers spreading salt/grit or clearing snow from footways as part of a Local Council arrangement:
- All volunteers must wear a high visibility long sleeved vest or jacket and warm clothing and stout / waterproof footwear which provides good grip.
- Physical work warms up the body so be prepared to shed layers that you can then quickly put back on once you stop work and start to quickly cool down.
- Ensure that someone is aware that you are carrying out this work, how long you expect to be and make sure you advise them of your return.
- Assess the location before commencing work. Do not attempt path gritting or clearing if you feel conditions would make this unsafe. For example if visibility is poor, traffic flows are too high or conditions are so severe that you would be at risk of falling or extreme cold.
- Always be aware of traffic. Remember the conditions may mean that traffic will have difficulty stopping.
- Try to work in pairs so that someone can observe the traffic.
- Use the grit sparingly and thinly. Spread a small amount on a shovel and sprinkle gently, one shovel should be able to cover 3-4 square metres. The salt will help to speed up the process of thawing and the grit helps to provide grip on the surface of compacted snow or ice.
- When spreading salt/grit on footways it is better to remove most of the snow first and then spread the salt/grit mixture.
- DO NOT USE HOT WATER. Although this melts the snow, it will replace it with black ice, increasing the risk of injury.
- For shovelling snow, use a shovel with the widest blade available.
- Make a line down the middle of your path first, so you have a safe surface to walk on. Then you can shovel the snow from the centre to the sides.
- If salt is not available from the grit bin, you may need to consider spreading some ordinary table salt on the area you have cleared to prevent any ice forming in the short term. Ordinary salt will work and can be purchased cheaply from local shops, but please avoid spreading it on plants or grass.
- Care should be taken to avoid blocking access points to properties, driveways and paths, especially at pedestrian crossings. The cleared snow should be deposited in the verge or areas that are not used by pedestrians or vehicles.
- Please take the needs of pedestrians into account when working on the footway.
- If you decide to discontinue the voluntary service please inform Norfolk County Council as soon as possible.