It’s getting colder, and winter is just around the corner. Now is the time to think about the extra safety precautions you need to take during the winter months, whether driving or working on the jobsite.
Check out these tips for driving in winter weather:
- Give yourself extra time to drive to work.
- Use extra caution on bridges and overpasses. Remember that they will freeze first.
- Drive defensively. Watch out for drivers who may be driving too fast for road conditions, or who may have lost control of their vehicle.
- Measure the low-temperature protection provided by the antifreeze in your vehicle to avoid frozen radiator and hoses.
- Keep an ice scraper, shovel, jumper cables, a blanket and some sand, kitty litter or traction mats in your vehicle.
- Check the tread on your tires. If it’s less than one-eighth of an inch, consider replacing the tires.
- Check the air tanks on your truck, and make sure liquid isn’t building up. During winter months, air brake lines could freeze because the air tanks weren’t drained. Driving a truck under these conditions is very dangerous.
Dress for working in cold weather:
- Wear layers of clothing. Many layers of thin garments trap heat better than a few thick ones. You can always remove a layer if you get warmer.
- Wear a liner in your hard hat.
- Wear headbands or hooded jackets to protect your ears.
- Keep clothes clean and dry.
- Wear water-resistant boots.
- Wear windproof outer layers.
- Wear cotton close to the body.
- Wear gloves with liners, if possible.
- Wear an extra pair of socks for added warmth.
- Make sure your safety vest is clean and in good repair. As the days get shorter, early low-light conditions make it very difficult for passing drivers, equipment operators and other co-workers to see you.
When possible, consider taking additional precautions against cold weather:
- Take breaks in warm areas.
- Use approved warming devices. Be cautious of carbon monoxide buildup when you are indoors.
- Use the buddy system, and check on each other regularly.
- Be cautious of ice buildup on the jobsite. Slip and fall injuries can occur suddenly.
- Schedule work to avoid being exposed to high-wind conditions.
- Work with your back to the wind.
The best time to prepare for the cold is before you are exposed. Think ahead, and be prepared for changing conditions. Following these steps can lessen your chances of an accident or injury.