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Cold Weather Risk Assessment Form and Company Safe Driving Policy

December 2023

Every winter in the UK we are affected by a variety of adverse weather conditions including wind, rain, snow and ice. Frequently now, the country is battered by named storms which bring excessive wind speeds and rainfall often causing localised flooding and landslips. All of these conditions can affect your business and how your staff and customers use your business premises and all employers have a duty of care to their employees and others who may be affected by their business activities. Therefore, if you have not done so already, it is a good time for your business to review what risk assessment procedures are in place to deal with severe weather hazards. 

Severe Weather Risk Assessment

Carrying out a cold weather risk assessment is an important part of managing risks around the workplace in the winter months. The Cold Weather Risk Assessment Form template should be used in conjunction with the worked example form and Action Plan. The example form has been filled in to illustrate the sort of issues that might need consideration when carrying out a risk assessment for cold winter weather conditions. One of the key areas for consideration at this time of year is slips and trips as these are the single biggest cause of injury at work at any time, and the risks can increase significantly during the winter months. 

For more general advice on completing risk assessments please look at the Guidance Notes on Completing Risk Assessments.

Safe Driving on Company Business 

The Company Safe Driving Policy and the Driving for Work – Guidance for Employees both include a section dealing with driving in severe weather conditions. 

Even if someone just pops down to the shops to replenish the office tea and coffee they are driving for work, and their employer has a duty of care to ensure the vehicle they are using is road legal and safe. It is estimated that up to a third of road traffic accidents involve someone who is at work at the time and bad weather conditions only exacerbate the risks, so it is crucial that employers adopt a comprehensive policy regarding the health and safety of all their staff that drive for work purposes.

Having a Company Safe Driving Policy in place will help employers to fulfil their legal responsibilities for the health and safety of their staff whilst driving on duty. As with all hazardous work activities, the risks involved in employee’s driving for work purposes must be assessed and practical controls must be put in place.

The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.

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