Winter Safety Tips

by Mary-Jaye Salmon, Senior HSE Safety Trainer & Consultant at SICA

Working during winter feels more like survival of the fittest than an everyday challenge. The risks are much greater for employees who have to work and drive outdoors.

Here are a few safety tips to consider that should help keep you safe during this trying season.

Walking with your hands in your pockets

Although walking with your hands in your pockets sometimes keeps you warmer, this increases the risk of falling or losing your balance if you were to slip while walking on ice or snow. The consequences of which end up being rather unpleasant.

Mittens vs Gloves

Gloves look more fashionable in most cases but wearing mittens can actually save your life. With your fingers touching each other inside mittens, they generate more body heat than when they’re inside gloves. However, when working on a job site, mittens may not be so practical. Be aware that both gloves and mittens may cause an entanglement hazard if they don’t fit properly.

Appropriate Footwear and Clothing

Ensure that proper footwear is chosen for the conditions. Be aware that even though you may think you have soles with good traction, some soles are suited for warmer weather. The colder weather can cause those soles to react very differently than you would expect. Not much different than the difference between summer and winter tires. When it comes to clothing choices, for those of us who work outside, dressing in layers is most appropriate. Having a variety of layers allows us to be prepared for changing weather conditions.

Warm up before Shoveling

Before you get rid of all the snow and ice at your workplace, do some stretching exercises first. You can also march in place or walk for a couple of minutes. With your muscles all warm, not only will you work more efficiently, but you also reduce the risk of injuring yourself.

Coffee, Lattes, and Cigarettes

Before shoveling or doing any strenuous work, avoid caffeine and nicotine. Both substances increase your heart rate and may cause your blood vessels to constrict.

Kitty Litter or Salt

The debate between kitty litter and rock salt continues. Ice melt or rock salt helps melt the ice on slippery surfaces, while kitty litter can provide temporary traction. Kitty litter creates a mess as it gets tracked in everywhere, which can ultimately cause another slip hazard. It’s great when your car gets stuck, but not so great for the job site or sidewalk. It’s preferable to use ice melt/salt when required. Ensure it’s eco-friendly so it doesn’t cause damage to existing lawns or other surfaces.

Emergency Kit

Before going on the road, it’s a good idea to have an emergency kit that includes a tin can, candles, paper, waterproof matches, water, and some non-perishable food items (granola/energy bars, etc.). Having some extra winter clothing and a blanket or two is always a good idea as well.

Warm up Before Driving Away

Ensure your vehicle is clear of snow and ice on the windshield and other windows. Remove snow accumulations from the hood, roof and trunk areas as well. Remember you may need a few extra minutes in order to complete these tasks. Warming the inside of your vehicle before driving off will help with condensation build up, just don’t do it inside a closed garage.

Water Accumulations on the Road

As we recently have seen in the news, flooding can occur rather quickly without much warning. Be wary of water on the road, especially when the water is 6 or more inches in depth.

Mary-Jaye Salmon is a Senior HSE Trainer and Consultant for the Southern Interior Construction Association.   

November 19, 2023

Membership Appreciation Evening Wrap Up 2023

We want to express our heartfelt appreciation for the members who attended our recent appreciation evening. Their unwavering commitment and dedication to the construction industry form the bedrock of our success, and it was a true honor to recognize and celebrate each member's invaluable contributions.
Read More
November 14, 2023

CCA Hill Day 2023

The CEO of the Southern Interior Construction Association, accompanied by 100 industry leaders, advocates at Parliament Hill for federal government collaboration to spur economic growth.
Read More
October 10, 2023

EBT Flu Clinic Dates

Protect yourself and your family. Prevent the flu this year. Get your flu shot with a pharmacist on-site at both our SICA locations. Space is limited; book your appointment now. Please note this link will take you to the Save on Foods Pharmacy site but the Flu Clinic will be hosted in our SICA office locations.
Read More
August 29, 2023

Long Term Members 2022/2023

SICA would like to express gratitude and recognition for these organizations that have been dedicated, committed, and engaged members of our association. This list acknowledges the significant contributions, loyalty, and positive impact that long-standing members bring to the construction industry and our community.
Read More
October 27, 2022

Join the Virtual Webinar

Infrastructure BC Announcement BC Major Infrastructure Projects Brochure – Fall 2022 Update Wednesday, November 16, 2022 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM
Read More
April 28, 2022

CCO Workshop 2022

This is the wrap up for the CCO Workshop. This one day conference where the goal is to facilitate open and transparent conversation between all parties in the construction industry.
Read More
Screen Shot 2021-09-22 at 9.59.47 AM.png
September 23, 2021

2021 Annual Report

On Thursday, September 23rd, SICA is holding a hybrid in-person/virtual Annual General Meeting. During the AGM SICA will share our latest Annual Report which covers the fiscal period between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021.
Read More
July 16, 2021

Kelowna Crane Incident Legacy Education Fund

Through the Southern Interior Construction Association (SICA) Fund and in partnership with the Construction Foundation of BC, SICA is organizing the Kelowna Crane Incident Legacy Education Fund. This fund is a tribute to the individuals who tragically lost their lives from the Brooklyn Site Incident on July 12th, 2021. The funds raised through this fund will go towards supporting future post-secondary education for the children of the victims in this tragedy.
Read More
July 15, 2021


SICA is amplifying the call to show solidarity and honour those who lost their lives on Monday by hanging a safety vest outside your workplace or home. Please consider hanging a safety vest outside your workplace or home. Use the hashtag #hangahighvisoutside when posting this initiative on social media.
Read More
July 13, 2021

Brooklyn Site Crane Accident Statement

The board, staff, and members of SICA are deeply saddened to learn of the tragic crane accident in Kelowna yesterday. Our hearts grieve for the families, friends, and co-workers of those who did not return home from the job-site last night. Our deepest condolences go out to those who have been affected by this catastrophe.
Read More
July 02, 2021

Construction Fast Lanes for COVID-19 Vaccine

In partnership with the BC Public Health Office, the BCCA and its partners have made available construction fast lanes at select vaccination centers around the province on specified dates between and times through June and July.
Read More
June 07, 2021

Every Child Matters - Indigenous History Month

I write to you heavy with emotions regarding the recent discovery at the Kamloops residential school. This is a long-awaited confirmation of the cultural annihilation forced upon our indigenous communities. I feel the profound grief and anger of my ancestral lineage being of the Metis Nation, as well as a feeling of deep shame of being Canadian right now.
Read More
April 09, 2021

Construction Month 2021

Today, April 9th, as part of the #lunchboxchallenge for Construction Month 2021 SICA was happy to serve lunch to the workers on the Acres Enterprises Ltd. Barkman site in Merritt!
Read More
March 26, 2021

SICA training courses prove practical and meaningful to students

It’s no exaggeration to say the global economy has been paralyzed by the pandemic. Fortunately for many Canadians, the construction industry was one of the few beacons in an otherwise slow economy greatly inhibited by COVID-19. Of course, the many forms of construction activity couldn’t forge ahead frivolously – social distancing, rigorous cleaning protocols and an abundance of caution were the norm on work sites everywhere, and it’s clear these methods will continue in the months ahead.
Read More
March 22, 2021

2021 Gold Seal Program Changes

The Gold Seal Certification program certifies estimators, foremen, owner’s construction managers, project managers, safety practitioners and superintendents working in, or with, Canada’s non-residential construction industry.
Read More
March 16, 2020

COVID-19 Update

​Like you, SICA has been closely monitoring the ongoing global spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Read More
October 04, 2019

2019 Industry Awards of Excellence Winners

SICA would like to congratulate all the finalists and the winners of SICA's inaugural Industry Awards of Excellence! Finalists and winners were honored yesterday, October 3rd, at the Award Presentation Dinner held at the Coast Capri Hotel in Kelowna, BC.
Read More
December 12, 2018

Winter Safety Tips

Working during winter feels more like survival of the fittest than an everyday challenge. The risks are much greater for employees who have to work and drive outdoors.
Read More
September 13, 2018

8th Annual Chair Dinner & Awards Celebrates Industry Leaders

SICA held our annual Chair Dinner and Award Night where we celebrate member anniversaries, board volunteers, Gold Seal recipients, and scholarship recipients. In addition, this year we had the honor of awarding both a Consultant Award and the Innovation Award.
Read More