Do not be fooled into a false sense of security by the big thaw, motorists and returning workers have been told.

Safety messages have been issued to farmers and road users, with gardaí reporting treacherous conditions on several regional, secondary and minor roads.

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) said despite the thaw, people should exercise caution.

“After such an extreme weather event many people will be facing conditions that they are not used to working in,” said HSA CEO Martin O’Halloran.

Following a number of fatalities due to falls from height after previous extreme weather, the HSA said many workers, particularly those involved in storm repair, construction, farming, and transportation, will face increased hazards. The HSA said roof repairs should only be done after snow and ice has been cleared and a risk assessment has been carried out. Farmers were told they should wear footwear with good grips, a hi-vis jacket, take a fully-charged mobile phone and torch, and tell someone their estimated time of return, even if just going out to feed animals or to carry out milking.

The RSA advised motorists to heed road condition bulletins, carry an emergency kit, including a fully charged mobile phone, and to be conscious that snow and ice may linger in sheltered spots and on bend.

Pedestrians and cyclists are advised to be aware of overhead hazards, and to wear hi-vis clothing.

In Cork, gardaí said road conditions in the city have improved, but that icy conditions persist in hillier parts of the northside. In the county, secondary and minor roads are still badly affected, with rural properties in Cloyne, Killeagh, Midleton, and parts of Kinsale, Belgooly, and Ballinspittle still affected by lying snow.

Cork County Council said it is trying to clear roads as quickly as it can, and hoping to facilitate dairy farmers awaiting milk collections.

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