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Winter maintenance: Staying ahead with proactive gritting from Chequers


The importance of gritting should never go under appreciated and neither should the significance of being proactive in your winter maintenance. Businesses are accountable for all injuries in the working environment and the safety of employees is paramount. Statistics from the Health & Safety Executive show slipping and tripping to be the single most common cause of the 693,000 non-fatal self-reported injuries in 2019/2020 in UK workplaces.

As we enter winter, freezing weather and icy roads rear their slippery heads once more. Ice can more than triple the likelihood of a slip, leading to claims of around £10,000 or more per accident. At Chequers, the Churchill Group’s landscaping and ground maintenance business, the team has introduced a new winter maintenance service, including proactive gritting and snow clearance. The new service is designed to give clients peace of mind, a type of emergency service that uses forecasts to proactively grit locations without the client needing to lift a finger.

Staying one step ahead

Gritting is essential during winter. Not only does it meet health and safety standards but, if companies don’t grit around their workplace, they will be liable to compensation. It’s not enough to be reactive, gritting needs to be done early and planned ahead for maximum effect. Chequers’ nationwide services are automatically triggered by Met Office forecasts, which are monitored daily at the exact location of client’s sites, utilising national web cam footage. The default trigger is a temperate of 0c or below during a 24-hour period from 9am. Bespoke custom triggers can be agreed with clients if preferred.

By using Met Office and state of the art weather reports from the East Anglia University, the team knows exactly what the weather is going to do over a 24-hour time period. For example: If by 2pm the road temperature levels are due to reach a temperature of zero or below, this will trigger a gritting service. The Chequers team will give clients the heads up to let them know their site has been triggered for gritting and it’ll be done between 6am and 6pm the following day – this is the optimum time for gritting to take place.

Peace of mind

The majority of gritting tends to really kick off from January onwards, but can be required as early as October. However, in the north of England, it tends to start much earlier. It’s smart to sign up for gritting ahead of the season as temperature drops are common in the UK. If the temperature drops too low and you’re not ready, that’s when slips, trips, and falls can happen.

Proactive gritting is all about giving businesses peace of mind that their site is covered for any cold weather conditions. It doesn’t matter how early a client sets up; pricing is agreed in advance and clients are charged once a gritting has been triggered.

Response time

A mix of machinery is employed, from large vehicle spreaders and mechanical snow ploughs for open spaces, to smaller spreaders and manual techniques for hard-to-reach areas. If any additional gritting or snow clearance is required, a client can call the Chequers control room and the team will be on-site within two hours.

Although part of Chequers winter maintenance offering, this is a standalone service that’s solely focussed on gritting. If you’re thinking of being proactive this winter, visit: https://chequerscontracts.co.uk/services/gritting/

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