Winter weather

Keeping healthy and safe during winter months.

As the weather gets colder and darker, itís important that we all take care and remain winter ready, whatever the weather.

You can find information below on staying safe and well at work, at home and on the road.

Remember to take a zero compromise approach to unsafe acts or conditions. If you see something unsafe which needs further investigation, raise it on safeguard and inform your manager.

> Warm up for winter - useful information

> Winter ready - whatever the weather

Driving safely in the winter months

In winter itís even more important to check your vehicle is well maintained and serviced.

  • Keep the lights, windows and mirrors clean and free from ice and snow
  • Adjust your driving to the conditions
  • Use dipped headlights and reduce your speed
  • Make sure wipers and lights are in good working order
  • Be aware that hail, heavy snow and rain reduce visibility
  • Keep your windscreen washer bottle topped up
  • Check that tyres have plenty of tread depth and are maintained at the correct pressure
  • Pack a snow/ice scraper, de-icer, snow shovel, hat, gloves, boots, a torch, bottle of water and a first aid kit. For longer journeys, you should take blankets, a snack and a flask of warm drink
  • Make sure you have a fully charged mobile phone, so you can call for help or alert someone if youíre delayed Ė it could be a long walk to a phone, if you donít have a mobile phone
  • Wash the car frequently to get rid of the salt and dirt that builds up over the winter
  • Always keep a full tank of fuel Ė you never know when you might get delayed
  • Don't use water to defrost the windows

    Tyres

    For peace of mind on your journey, make routine checks on your tyres. Check the pressure of your tyres weekly, when they are cold. Check the tread depth of your tyres Ė the minimum legal UK tread depth is 1.6mm across the central 3/4 of the tyre, Thames Waterís tyre replacement policy is 3mm.

    Itís simple to check your tread depth by using a 20p coin. If the outer band of the coin is visible when inserted into the tyre tread grooves, the tyre may not have sufficient tread depth and should be examined further by a professional.†

      Check your tyres in three different areas around the tyre. Turning the front wheels onto a full lock will enable you to have a better look at the condition. As your tread depth decreases, your stopping distance in wet weather increases. Check your tyres for damage. Look out for any cuts, cracks or bulges as these can lead to slow punctures and blow-outs. Donít forget to check the tread depth and air pressure of your spare tyre.

      If you drive a Thames Water vehicle and you need a tyre replacing or you are unsure, contact BT Fleet on 0845 604 4224 who will provide support.

      Snow socks

      AutoSock snow socks are reusable tyre snow socks which are slipped over the driving wheels of cars, vans or trucks for extra grip on ice or snow.

      They are simple and quick to fit and remove. They're also silent and smooth in use, unlike snow chains. AutoSock snow socks have a unique technical fabric which increases the available friction to increase grip, and improve tyres when used in snow.

      If youíre driving a company vehicle, orders can be placed for AutoSock snow socks.

      Category: Vehicle Maintenance & Parts
      Vendor Number: 104721
      Vendor Name: Brindley Chains

      If you have any questions, please email us at Fleet.Services@ThamesWater.co.uk

      Driving during bad weather or using safer alternatives

      Please be prepared in case the bad weather strikes in your area, do not drive during extremely bad weather unless your journey is essential, and take measures to stay safe.

      Before you set off in bad weather ask yourself is this necessary, is there a safer alternative, can a meeting or appointment be moved. Where possible, use remote communications such as telephone, email or video-conferencing as a substitute for road journeys, which is far safer if road travel is unavoidable.

    • Check the local and national weather forecasts
    • Listen to local and national radio for travel information
    • Tell someone at your destination what time you expect to arrive
    • Plan alternative routes in case your main choice(s) becomes impassable
    • Make sure you are equipped with warm clothes, food, boots and a torch - in snowy conditions, take a spade
    • Clear your windows and mirrors before you set out and carry a screen scraper and de-icer

      Please take extra care and refer to the Highways Agency for advice on traffic disruption on the roads.

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