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.   

AdobeStock_76301792.png
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
2018-SICA-Chair-Dinner-125.jpg
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
IMG_9870.JPG
June 28, 2018

2018 Kamloops Trap & Skeet

Every year the Kamloops Trap & Skeet is one of the most anticipated events we host! With over 100 attendees, BBQ steaks, and some tough competition it is safe to say that a blast was had by all.
Read More
IMG_9545.JPG
June 27, 2018

2018 SICA Golf Tournament

On June 21st, 2018 144 golfers converged on Sunset Ranch Golf Course for the annual SICA Golf Tournament. Despite lightening in the valley causing a brief course closure and pouring down rain in the afternoon the event was a huge success!
Read More
IMG_9202.JPG
May 30, 2018

2nd Annual Family Fishing Derby

The beautiful Roche Lake Resort was again the site for our now 2nd annual Family Fishing Derby. This event, hosted through a joint partnership between the Southern Interior Construction Association and CapriCMW Insurance, is quickly becoming a must attend for all SICA members.
Read More
Terry-Brown-CCA-Award-1.jpg
April 30, 2018

Celebrating our Own - Terry Brown Receives CCA's Person of the Year Award

The CCA Person of the Year Award recognizes individuals who demonstrate the qualities of a leader and who apply the highest standards and principles of the construction industry and business community. To those who have had the opportunity of working alongside Terry Brown, he is the living embodiment of this description.
Read More
Heavy-Metal-Rocks-2018.JPG
April 24, 2018

10th Anniversary of Heavy Metal Rocks in Kamloops

2018 marked the 10th year of the Heavy Metal Rocks event in Kamloops. This project provides opportunities for Grade 11 and 12 students from the School District No. 73 to explore career opportunities in the heavy equipment operator field.
Read More
Kelowna-Construction-Breakfast-8.jpg
April 19, 2018

Construction Industry Celebrates BC Construction Month at Okanagan College

The Kelowna building community was proud to celebrate BC’s Construction & Skilled Trades Month with a breakfast held at Okanagan College on Thursday. In the newly built Trades Building contractors, apprentices, foundation program students and industry support organizations gathered to recognize the impact the construction industry has on the BC and specifically the Okanagan economy.
Read More
Brandon_TKI.png
March 07, 2018

Member Spotlight: TKI Construction

TKI recently completed construction on the flagship Mr. Lube store in Kelowna, where they went beyond your standard oil change facility and built a truly stunning building. Brandon had the opportunity to work with the Mr. Lube franchise owner to design a tower and architectural details that make the store more visually appealing than it would otherwise be.
Read More
BCCA Employee Benefits logo.JPG
February 07, 2018

Unsung Benefits

The BCCA Employee Benefits’ plans offer other services beyond dental and extended health care.
Read More
iStock-619508318.jpg
January 24, 2018

Message Delivered, Message Received

Successful buildings have always been the result of collaboration between the client, designers, and contractors. A strong team, clear expectations, and concise information will typically result in a project which all involved parties will consider successful. Through recent decades the delivery of projects has changed with increased complexity, decreased timeframes, and changing delivery methods. Now more than ever it is critical that the collaboration between the team occurs to ensure the desired outcome.
Read More
img-bdo.png
December 20, 2017

TAX ALERT – Government Simplifies Measures to Rein in Income Sprinkling

On December 13, the federal government released legislation to simplify restrictions on income sprinkling, proposed to go into effect January 1, 2018. These revisions indicate they’ve listened to feedback during the consultation period, by providing more certainty to taxpayers through the introduction of “bright-line” tests to automatically exclude some family members, and allow income sprinkling for those members who make sufficient contributions to the business.
Read More
8F - 2006 Mack Dump Truck.jpg
December 13, 2017

Member Spotlight: Ok Excavating

Adaptability, initiative, and customer service are the keys to longevity for a local commercial and residential excavation business in Kelowna. OK Excavating is celebrating 50 years of business in 2017 and, in those years, has undergone many evolutions.
Read More
cyber-security-2851201_1920.jpg
November 29, 2017

Construction and Cyber Risk: An Overview

A hazard such as a fire has protocols and procedures that are designed to mitigate risks – inspections, suppression systems, and risk management practices. Cyber protection of a business should also employ a rigorous process to develop both a risk prevention and incident response plan. Most cyber insurance applications serve as a catalyst in moving towards this process.
Read More
calculator-1044173_1280.jpg
November 15, 2017

Could Tax Issues Throw Your Business Off Track?

To stay on track, real estate and construction companies should develop a better understanding of where tax issues are likely to complicate or disrupt their business — and develop a plan to mitigate those risks well in advance.
Read More
father-2090061_1920.jpg
November 08, 2017

Top Five Reasons for Having an Employee Benefits Plan

One of the biggest investments employers can make is in their employees. And it makes sense to want productive, healthy, and engaged employees. Employees with poor health cannot exert the effort required to be highly productive, and you need engaged employees in order to create innovative solutions.
Read More
courthouse-1799353_640.jpg
August 30, 2017

Obligation of Good Faith in Contracting

The Supreme Court of Canada changed the legal landscape for contracts in the decision of Bhasin v. Hrynew, [2014] SCC 71. This decision created a new common law obligation of good faith that applies to all commercial contracts.
Read More
write-593333_1920.jpg
August 23, 2017

Embracing the Purpose Era

Regardless of the size of your business or the sector you operate in, the purpose movement is shaking up the rules of business and ringing in a new era where business is an active participant in making the world a better place.
Read More
blueprints-1837238_1920.jpg
April 05, 2017

Reaching the Millennials | Attracting the right people is in how the story is told

With businesses adjusting to the era of the happy workplace, concepts such as social responsibility, company culture, and employee engagement are common buzz words used around the open-concept, flexible, shared workspace. They are used more so as companies shift their recruiting focus toward the millennials, the largest generation in the workforce today.
Read More