Get winter savvy with RoSPA’s new online safety hub

As temperatures plummet across the UK, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is urging people to heed advice from its new Winter Safety Hub.

Families and businesses are being offered a wealth of information including responsible working conditions in freezing weather, advice for driving on ice and snow and how to react if a dog or child falls into a frozen pond.

RoSPA’s Winter Safety Hub also highlights home safety issues from the threat of carbon monoxide to the importance of fire safety over Christmas when using candles. Families are encouraged to check on elderly relatives and neighbours to prevent life-threatening situations from hypothermia to a fall.

The online webpage by the UK’s leading accident prevention charity includes a safer journey planner for drivers setting out on long journeys over the festive season and a winter driving factsheet to help motorists stay safe in poor conditions.

Figures from the Department for Transport show that across Great Britain in 2011, 32 people were killed and 3,912 people were injured in reported road accidents when there was snow or ice on the road. There were also six people killed and 672 injured when it was snowing at the time.

Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at RoSPA, said: “With the UK braced for frost, ice and snow, it is a good time to get prepared.

“Driving conditions at this time of year can be treacherous so it pays for drivers to be one step ahead and for employers to also think about keeping their staff stay safe by considering options such as working from home when the snow arrives.

“RoSPA’s Winter Safety Hub has plenty of tips on how to adjust your driving to suit the conditions, but is also packed with other useful information on how to stay safe at home and in the community.”
The dedicated web page features sections on clearing ice and snow on pavements and how to avoid slips, trips and falls as figures show there were over 4,000 admissions to hospital in England last year due to people falling over on snow or ice.
Drivers are being encouraged to check whether their car is ready for winter. RoSPA’s advice includes:
• Check your lights are clean and working
• Keep the windscreen and windows clean and the washer bottle filled with screenwash to the correct concentration (which may be a stronger concentration during below-freezing temperatures)
• Items to carry in the car include de-icing equipment (keep some outside the car too), a first aid kit and a working torch
• Think about whether you could cope if you got stuck in snow. You might want to carry a blanket, a pair of boots, a shovel, a high-visibility jacket and a mobile phone (although don’t use it when you’re driving).
And don’t forget - alcohol and driving do not mix. If you are celebrating with alcohol this Christmas, plan in advance how you will get home safely. Any amount of alcohol can impair driving ability. Be aware that you may be over the limit the morning after too - and even if you’re not over the limit, you may still be impaired. In difficult driving conditions, any impairment is magnified.
RoSPA’s Winter Safety Hub is found at:

RoSPA’s mission is to save lives and reduce injuries

Registered Charity, No. 207823 and a company limited by guarantee registered in England, No. 231435. Registered Office: RoSPA House, 28 Calthorpe Road, Birmingham B15 1RP. Follow RoSPA on:; Facebook; Twitter; Blog; YouTube.

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