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.
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.
Long Term Members 2022/2023
VRCA Awards of Excellence - Christman Plumbing & HeatingRead More
Farewell to our Education Admin and Hello to our new SICA staff 2022
MOTI and Infrastructure BC Seeking Interest From Qualified Firms For BC Highway Reinstatement Program RFQ
Prompt Payment Included in ‘Report on the Budget 2022 Consultation’
Regional Construction Associations Partner with BCCA Employee Benefit Trust to Provide Flu Shots for Industry
B.C. associations call on province to practice fair, transparent procurement
SICA announces 2020/2021 Industry Awards of Excellence Finalists
Kelowna Crane Incident Legacy Education Fund
Brooklyn Site Crane Accident Statement
Every Child Matters - Indigenous History Month
Latest Construction Industry Statistics Reveal Strength Despite Pandemic Challenges
BuildForce Canada releases annual 10-year forecast
SICA training courses prove practical and meaningful to students
Nomination Period Opens for SICA’s Industry Awards of Excellence
2019 Industry Awards of Excellence Winners
SICA announces 2019 Industry Awards of Excellence Finalists
Nominations sought for SICA’s Industry Awards of Excellence
50th Parallel Estate Winery Named Commercial Building Awards Winner
8th Annual Chair Dinner & Awards Celebrates Industry Leaders
Emil Anderson Construction Wins 2018 SICA Innovation Award
Record-tying number of Commercial Building Award Finalists
REPOST: Pattullo Procurement Strategy Takes BC Construction a Bridge Too Far
Response to the Province’s Community Benefits Agreement Announcement
As a Member you are a part of a collective voice, the SICA voice. Together, our voice is changing the construction community and helping your business grow through advocacy, networking events, affinity programs, direct business leads and more. Our voices promotes fairness, transparency and open communication in the construction industry. Join SICA to grow your business today and be a voice for our industry tomorrow.JOIN NOW