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Britain braced for 'Beast from the East'

View profile for Pauline Smith
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Snow days - employee rights and employer responsibilities

We’ve all seen the weather reports about the impending cold snap that is approaching from Siberia, alarmingly labelled “The Beast From The East”. 

Some meteorologists, whilst not exactly taking this with a pinch of salt, believe that there may be an element of hysteria in the media headlines. Some have gone on record to say that any weather forecast over three days should not be considered as fact as snow predictions are finely balanced and volatile, dependent upon temperature, distance from coast, precipitation levels and intensity. Snow in the UK tends to fall when temperatures drop below 2c degrees, and is more likely to occur on higher ground, such as hills and mountains.

The Met Office said there are signs that this imminent cold spell is likely to last well into the end of February with possibly even colder air from Russia moving across the UK, with snow predicted.

So how can we keep safe in the cold weather?

Older people, and young children are particularly vulnerable, particularly those with lung and heart conditions, as their bodies struggle to regulate extreme temperatures. Public Health England have urged people to check on the elderly people within their families and communities, and make sure that their homes are adequately heated. The ideal temperature for the home is 18c degrees, and warm drinks, and not going out unless absolutely essential is advised in extreme cold weather conditions. If you can do so safely, grit driveways and your garden paths, to avoid slipping.

Driving is also something that can be affected during the wintry weather. RoSPA have produced a fact sheet, which provides sound and sensible advice for driving in inclement conditions. However, it is essential to use dipped headlights in snow/sleet like conditions, to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you (you are likely to need up to 10x the normal braking distance), and to slow down.

If you are involved in an accident on the road, or a slip or fall due to icy weather conditions, please contact Stephensons to speak to one of our personal injury specialists on 01616 966 229.