Winter deaths and serious injuries due to accidents are not inevitable, says Tom Mullarkey, chief executive of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).
With a huge focus nationally on excess winter deaths and on ensuring that hospitals can cope with increased demand, Mr Mullarkey is urging people to consider the steps they can take to keep themselves and their loved ones safe and out of A&E.
RoSPA has a Winter Safety hub with information about staying safe this winter, including on the roads, at home, at work and at leisure. Among the many areas covered are winter driving, clearing ice and snow from pavements and business premises, slips, trips and falls, carbon monoxide and frozen water.
Winter-related injury statistics from the past year give a snapshot of some of the safety issues associated with the season:
In 2012, 38 people were killed, 544 were seriously injured and 4,584 were slightly injured in reported accidents on Great Britain's roads when there was snow or ice on the road surface (source: Department for Transport).
In 2012/13, there were 7,031 admissions to hospitals in England as a result of people falling over on snow or ice (source: Health and Social Care Information Centre).
In 2012, 10 people died in England and Wales and two in Scotland as a result of falling over on snow or ice (sources: Office for National Statistics; General Register Office for Scotland).
Among RoSPA's advice is an appeal for people to look out for those in their community who may need extra help during wintry weather, for example older people, disabled people and new mums. There's also an "Ice and snow? Take it slow!" advice section for older people on how to avoid slips and falls, plus information for employers on managing safety during the winter, including the safety of those who drive for work.