The Snow Warden for Elsham is Larraine Guest - tel 01652 680679

North Lincs Council have various information, including their policy document for winter snow clearance, which can be found on the North Lincs Web site - transport and street page under the section "Roads, Highways and Pavements", please follow this link.

http://www.northlincs.gov.uk/transport-and-streets/

 (Some of the files are a large pdf files - up to 58 pages long, so it may take a short while to download)

North Lincs Council have also published some advice on snow clearance and information about snow wardens. this is shown below :-

North Lincolnshire Council Parish Snow Warden Scheme

What is the Snow Warden Scheme?

In response to the Winter Service consultation process over the summer of 2011,

there was overwhelming support for the idea of “Snow Wardens” to be established

within those Parishes that wished to participate. Furthermore North Lincolnshire

has agreed to supply each Parish with 3 salt bins and a 2 tonne supply of bulk salt.

The bins and salt are meant to enable each parish to respond to the local needs of

their communities and the Parish Snow Wardens are encouraged to develop local

priorities for snow and ice clearance and to include those within their Community

Emergency Plans. Furthermore the Parish Snow Wardens will provide a point of

contact within the communities, which will enable direct liaison with their appointed

Lead Snow Warden during the winter period. An elected North Lincolnshire Council

Member (Councillor) has been identified as a “Lead Snow Warden” for each

Parish, and they will be supported by local volunteer Parish Snow Wardens. The

Lead Snow Warden will have direct contact with the Winter Service Control Room.

 

Can the parish and town councils use the provided salt anywhere?

 

In general terms the salt is for use on public areas only. It is not intended to be

provided for the general public to clear their own driveways, paths etc. It is up to

the Parish Councils to define their own priorities for clearance and any salt

spreading within their communities. The emphasis is on encouraging the clearance

of snow from footpaths and then spreading a very thin layer of salt once the area is

clear of snow.

 

Sounds ok in theory, but what does that mean in a bit more detail?

 

North Lincolnshire Council is encouraging each parish / town council that wishes to

participate, to look around their parish and identify areas that the local community

will need to access during periods of heavy snow which would not be treated by

North Lincolnshire Council Highways. The kind of locations which may be

considered important by the local community are footpaths outside doctors

surgeries, the footpaths outside local shops and services, access routes to the

main bus stops etc. It will be for the parish council to decide whether sites will

constitute ‘priority sites’.

The Parish Council and Parish Snow Wardens may wish to make contact with local

residents or shop keepers and ask them to help out with the scheme and volunteer

to clear snow and spread salt. Any volunteers should be advised what will be

required of them in the event of snowfall. Volunteers should be confident they can

clear the snow from the priority area, that they have access to suitable equipment

and are confident they are physically able to undertake the activity. The Parish

Council should keep a record of all the priority sites identified and who is

volunteering at each site. If heavy snowfall comes it will be for the volunteer to

decide if they feel able to undertake the activity safely and if so to attempt to clear

the snow under the direction of the Parish Snow Warden.

 

What is suitable equipment for clearing snow and spreading salt?

 

The most important thing is to look after yourself. If at any point you don’t feel

confident to complete the task then you should not participate.

Clearing snow is hard physical work so if you volunteer make sure you can do it,

ensure that you take plenty of breaks and know when to stop. Suitable clothing

goes without saying, boots or wellington boots and plenty of warm and water proof

clothing. 25% of your body heat is lost through your head and hands so wear

gloves and a hat.

 

If you are working near the road it is advisable to be as visible as

possible and wear reflective vest/jacket.

 

When working, the body will build up a sweat so be prepared to shed layers as you

work.

 

The tools required could be found in most garden sheds:

 

Plastic light weight snow shovels or wide bladed shovels are the most appropriate

tools.

 

A regular metal shovel is the next best alternative but not as efficient as the snow

will stick to it and need to be cleared regularly.

 

To spread the salt you could use a domestic grass spreader or lawn feeder (make

sure you wash out any salt before using on grass unless you want to kill your

lawn!).

 

A small scoop or garden trowel to distribute the salt, if doing it by hand.

 

A wheel barrow to move tools, carry salt or move snow.

 

I am a Parish Snow Warden, how will I know if it is going to snow?

 

Keep an eye on the local weather forecasts. The Met Office

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/uk/uk_forecast_weather.html produce regular

weather updates. The Winter Service Control Room at North Lincolnshire Council

Highways, receives more detailed weather information, and monitors a number of

weather stations around the area 24 hours a day. If a severe weather event is a

high probability we would endeavour to pass information out as early as possible to

the Lead Snow Wardens, for information to be cascaded to Parish Snow Wardens.

 

If I volunteer to clear snow, is there a risk of being sued if someone then has

an accident?

 

Over recent years there has been a growing urban myth that if you clear snow from

an area, if someone then has an accident you would be held liable. Central

Government has issued guidance confirming it is unlikely you’ll be sued or held

legally responsible for any injuries on the path if you have cleared it carefully. This

is contained within the “Snow Code” issued by the Department for Transport and

included within the Winter Service Policy issued by North Lincolnshire Council. The

information overleaf provides further practical guidance on snow clearance.

A simple how to guide for snow clearing for Local

Snow Wardens

 

During the winter months North Lincolnshire Council Highways are often contacted

by members of the public requesting that we come out to salt their local road as it

is iced over. In response we decline the request stating that their road, if it is not

already on an identified precautionary or secondary salting route, does not comply

with policy, and therefore we would not be gritting their road. We further advise that

even if we had the resource spare, quite often salt alone will not remove ice without

sufficient trafficking etc.

The Parish salt bin scheme and the supply of salt bags to the Parishes is our

attempt to try to support these areas which fall outside our winter service policy and

for which North Lincolnshire Council Highways does not have the capacity or

resource to deliver a direct service to. Along with supplying salt we felt that

supporting information may be useful to hopefully answer some of the questions

around snow clearance and explain how salt works, highlighting to the Snow

Wardens things to consider so they can participate efficiently and safely.

The following information is provided to act as a simple guide on how to clear snow

and spread salt. It should clear up any common misconceptions around the snow

and ice clearing process. It is provided to offer a basic understanding of the

process and to highlight some of the things to consider if you undertake snow

clearance and salt spreading. It expands upon advice provided by the Department

for Transport within their “Snow Code” document, which is included within North

Lincolnshire Council’s Winter Service Policy 2011.

 

Salt

 

The most popular de-icing material is salt or sodium chloride. Rock salt, which is

the product North Lincs Council use on the highway, is a mined salt. The majority

of rock salt used in the UK comes from mines located in Cleveland, Winsford

(Cheshire) and County Antrim.

 

How salt works

 

Water has a freezing point of 0 °C. When salt is dissolved into the water / moisture

on the highway it lowers the freezing point. The freezing point will depend on the

levels of concentration. Sea water has a low concentration of about 5% and will

freeze at -2°C. When temperatures get down to about -6°C, the levels of salt

required preventing freezing become impractical. Salt stops being effective below

this temperature.

With regard to snow and ice, salt is generally ineffective when spread upon

compacted snow/ice. For salt to work effectively, moisture is required for it to

dissolve into. Without some trafficking or perhaps ambient temperatures increasing

to permit a film of moisture to develop on the surface, salt will be ineffective. In

general terms, to clear snow and ice it must be manually removed by hand.

 

 

 

 

Basic Principles

 

Removing or dealing with snow is basic common sense. Before going into details

there are a few principles that need to be understood that will make the job easier.

The only effective way of removing snow is by mechanical means or put simply -

hard graft and elbow grease!

Undisturbed snow is the easiest to remove as once walked on it becomes compact

and turns to ice, making it more difficult to work with.

Pre-salting an area prior to snow is useful in preventing the compacted snow from

bonding to the pavement surface but it will not remove snow on its own.

Once the area has been cleared of snow a very thin layer of salt should be spread

to prevent any melt water from refreezing on the pavement creating a risk of black

ice.

 

Suitable Tools

 

Plastic light weight snow shovels or wide bladed shovels are the most appropriate

tools.

A regular metal shovel is the next best alternative but not as efficient, as the snow

will stick to it and need to be cleared regularly.

To spread the salt you could use a domestic grass spreader or lawn feeder (make

sure you wash out any salt before using on grass unless you want to kill the

grass!).

A small scoop or garden trowel to distribute the salt, if doing it by hand.

A wheel barrow to move tools, carry salt or move snow.

 

Looking after yourself

 

The most important thing is to look after is yourself. If at any point you don’t feel

confident to complete the task then you should not participate.

Clearing snow can be hard physical work so make sure participants are up to it.

Ensure they take plenty of breaks and know when to stop. Suitable clothing goes

without saying, boots or wellington boots and plenty of warm and water proof

clothing. 25% of your body heat is lost through your head and hands so wear

gloves and a hat. When working, the body will build up a sweat so be prepared to

shed layers as you work.

 

Planning the work

 

Before the snow comes there are some key tasks that each Snow Warden may

wish to consider, which may make your life easier when the snow has arrived.

Firstly, define the areas which you will take on responsibility for and clear the snow

from. Walk the route and identify where there is open space, grass verges, and

front gardens into which snow can be deposited. Store the equipment and salt in a

location that will remain accessible when there is snow.

Consider the risks that you may face when undertaking the task of snow clearance

and write all the information on the provided risk assessment form.

 

 

 

Preparing yourself for snow clearing

 

Before venturing outside make sure you are properly kitted out with warm clothing

and suitable footwear.

Make sure you are close to a suitable refuge (building or vehicle) so you can take

shelter in case the weather turns inclement or people get too cold. You can also

use the refuge to take plenty of rests as the work is very physical.

If you are working near the road it is advisable to be as visible as possible and

wear reflective vest/jacket.

If you are working alone ensure you have informed someone of where you are and

how long you intend to be, have a charged mobile phone with you and remain in

contact every 1-2hrs and inform friends/family of any changes to location or

estimated return time.

Those not used to physical work will tire quickly so be very conservative with what

you think you can achieve. As a guide, an experienced labourer could only be

expected to clear and treat by hand 50m of footway per hour.

 

Clearing the snow

 

Go out as early as possible so you can move the snow before it becomes

compacted by people walking over it.

Ideally, when clearing a path you should aim to clear sufficient width to allow two

pedestrians to pass and follow the most likely route taken by users. The cleared

space should be widened at bus stops and areas where pedestrians congregate.

The cleared snow should be deposited in verges, front gardens or areas that are

non trafficked – i.e. to the side of the pavement. It should not be deposited in the

carriageway or drainage gullies as this will prevent melt water draining away,

risking it refreezing and turning to black ice.

Care should be taken to avoid blocking access to properties, driveways and paths.

 

Spreading the Salt

 

Clearing the snow allows the sun to warm up the pavement surface temperature

which aids the process of melting and evaporating any remaining snow and ice.

Where salt is available it can be spread on to the cleared pavement. This will help

prevent the melt water refreezing and turning to black ice.

The amount of salt required to treat an area is much less than you think. As a guide

15 -20g/m² (about a very small hand full) should be sufficient to clear and protect a

1m (3ft) length of cleared surface. Provided the surface is cleared and uniformly

treated it is possible to treat 400m of footway with a 20kg bag.

A method for spreading salt if being done by hand is to have the salt on a small

trowel and gently shake it off as you walk along. A large shovel will be heavy to

hold and one blade will contain sufficient salt to cover 80m. Spreading salt from a

shovel is very inefficient and wasteful. One method that could be considered is the

use of small plastic domestic garden fertiliser / seed spreaders. This gave an even

coverage, was less labour intensive and quicker.

Remember, salt does not remove snow or compact ice and spreading salt in thick

layers will only be wasteful, harmful to the environment and create a mess which

will lead to complaints from local residents and shop keepers who have the salt

walked into their properties.

Pre-salt in preparation for snow

 

Pre-treatment before the onset of snow is a possible action and is advisable for

areas likely to be trafficked before clearing operations can start or for key locations.

The salt will not stop the snow settling but create a layer of moisture that will freeze

at a lower temperature than the snow that is settling above it. Effectively this layer

of salt helps stop the snow sticking to the pavement, making life a lot easier when it

comes to removing the snow.

Pre-salting before the snow will not remove snow but it will reduce the risk of

compacted snow bonding with the pavement surface.

 

Compacted Ice

 

If you are too late and the snow has compacted and bonded to the pavement

surface, do not despair. It is only possible to remove it via mechanical means – that

good old elbow grease again! However, this will be hard work and not very

productive.

The salt that we have provided will give a very small amount of traction by sitting

on top of the ice but it will dissolve over time. It may be better to utilise a cheaper

and more effective product such as coarse graded or sharp sand (not Builders

Sand) and spread this uniformly over the ice to provide traction (alternatives

include grit, cinders or cat litter). As people walk over the ice and sand the pressure

will embed the sand providing a long term solution. If you do use sand or grit the

only draw back is that pavement will need sweeping once the thaw has taken

place!