Preparing for Winter Weather
- Keep an eye on the day’s weather forecast and get an update on current traffic conditions before heading out.
- For company closings, refer to your company’s employee handbook or closing policy for further details.
- Dress for cold and slippery conditions (layer up, including wearing a hat, gloves, and slip-resistant shoes).
- Make time to clear your sidewalk and vehicle–including all windows and side mirrors)–and make sure you allow some extra time to get to work or other destinations. It takes longer to drive in wintery weather.
- Have a winter kit in your car consisting of a windshield scraper, flashlight, blanket, bag of sand, a small shovel, reflective triangles, jumper cables, some water and snacks.
Driving in Snow and Ice
- Keep your headlights on at all times.
- Slow down during wintery conditions. Maintain at least 4 seconds of following distance.
- Never use cruise control during wintery weather conditions.
- If traveling on black ice, lift your foot off the accelerator and glide across the ice.
- Avoid turning your steering wheel suddenly.
- Don’t slam your brakes when driving over ice. Instead, gradually and firmly press on your brake pedal
When Arriving at and Leaving Work or the Jobsite
- Take your time stepping into and out of your vehicle. Observe the ground before stepping out of your vehicle.
- For trucks, be sure to use 3-point contact when entering and exiting your vehicle. Don’t jump out of the cab.
- Use walkways/paths that have been plowed, shoveled and treated with ice melt.
- Watch out for snow or ice that has melted and refrozen with dropping evening/overnight temperatures.
- Take short, shuffling steps when walking on snow or ice.
- Avoid carrying things in both hands
- Use the handrail on exterior stairways
- When entering the building, wipe your feet on the walk-off mat (if provided)
Working Outside in Winter Weather
- Dress in multiple layers with your outermost layer being wind and water-resistant.
- Be sure to wear a hat as over 90% of your body heat escapes through your head.
- Don’t overdo it. Take periodic breaks indoors/in heated/dry areas.
- Wear slip-over-the-boot ice cleats if working in the snow or ice outside.
- Be sure to drink plenty of liquids since working outdoors—even in the cold–can cause you to become dehydrated.
Safe Shoveling Tips
- Push shallow snow with the shovel rather than lifting it.
- Limit how much snow you pick up with the shovel at one time. Using a general-purpose scoop shovel limits the amount of snow you can scoop at any one time.
- Lift the snow-filled shovel with your legs slightly bent.
- Pivot—don’t twist—when throwing snow from your shovel.
- Don’t overdo it. Take short breaks after no more than 20 minutes of shoveling.