The recent snow was no problem for sign installation and maintenance firm Xmo Strata. The company’s crews braved blizzard conditions across the country to help keep forecourts open for motorists.

Electrical faults and weather-damaged signs were the most common problems and if they are not dealt with they can close a forecourt, costing thousands in lost revenue.

Staff at the company’s Kent headquarters co-ordinated crews across the UK and, despite driving thousands of miles through the worst weather conditions in years, not a single crew became stranded.

Managing director Steve Martin said: "Every time there are adverse weather conditions and customers are in real trouble, our crews excel themselves."

Meanwhile, Norwich Union is urging retailers to take extra precautions to prevent injuries from slips and trips on their premises. This is because around 25% of personal injury claims made under Public Liability policies are due to slips and trips.

Phil Grace, liability risk manager at Norwich Union, said: "The risk of slipping should be assessed and plans and procedures drawn up to manage the risk."

The advice coincides with the launch of the Health & Safety Executive’s 2009 Shattered Lives campaign.