This time of year in Western New York very often feels like winter is never going away. With cold temperatures and snow still hitting us, most would agree that they’d like to fast forward to spring and summer. The good news is, Spring is just around the corner. Until then, now is a good time for employers to review hazards and dangers of working in cold conditions with their employees.
Without proper protection, working outside for extended periods of time can be extremely dangerous. It is also important to reinforce driving safety rules for snowy weather, as well as how to best avoid slips, trips, and falls. Continue reading to learn about safety tips for the winter construction season.
Practice Safe Driving:
Driving conditions are much more dangerous at this time of year. According to the US Department of Transportation, 24% of weather-related vehicle crashes occur on snowy, slushy, or icy pavement. In the construction industry, driving work vehicles or heavy equipment requires extra caution and focus.
10 Winter Driving Tips and Reminders:
1. Inspect all aspects of the vehicles before use
2. Clean, repair, or replace anything not working properly prior to use
3. Allow vehicles to warm up, especially in frigid conditions, before use
4. Brush off snow and ice from all parts of the vehicle, especially mirrors, lights, and windows
5. Wait until windows are fully defrosted before driving
6. It is much harder to stop on a slippery road, so be sure to follow at a safe distance
7. Avoid sudden motions like sharp breaking, turning, or quickly accelerating
8. If your vehicle begins to skid when you drive, ease off the break and accelerator and steer towards the direction in which you want the vehicle to safely stop
9. Beware of hard-packed snow on the road, as this can be as slippery as ice
10. Slow down when approaching areas with bridges and overpasses, as these tend to freeze sooner than others
Winter Storm Preparation:
In the event a winter storm is anticipated to take place, it’s important to take action and be prepared. Cleanup the worksite before the snowfalls to ensure hazards don’t get buried by the snow. If it starts snowing during the workday, find and mark any hazards that might be along a driving or walking path on the job site.
Wear Warm Personal Protective Gear
It’s crucial that when working outdoors, workers have on protective and warm gear. This includes, an insulated jacket, insulated boots, gloves, hats, and layered clothing.
Avoid Slips, Trips. and Falls:
Slips, trips, and falls happen frequently in the construction industry (especially when there is ice covering the ground.) Wear proper work boots with rough or heavy treads when working in wintry conditions to help prevent slips and falls. In addition, be careful climbing into and out of any vehicle.
If you have been injured at work, do not hesitate to get the workers’ compensation you are entitled to and deserve. Our experienced attorneys at Losi and Gangi will make sure you are represented fairly throughout every step of your case. Call us today at 716-854-1446 for a free consultation.
Article adapted from: https://weeklysafety.com/blog/winter-driving-on-site