WINTER DRIVING TIPS

Snow plow on a highway

Winter driving can sometimes be a daunting task, especially when conditions are snowy or icy.

If road conditions are dangerous, consider making alternate travel arrangements or postponing your trip until conditions improve. For the times when you are required to drive, follow these steps to keep yourself safe and collision free during the next few blustery winter months.

STEP 1: MAKE SURE THAT YOU AND YOUR VEHICLE IS PREPARED FOR WINTER DRIVING; BEING PREPARED IS COOLER THAN YOU THINK.

  • Winter tires are a good option, as they will provide greater traction under snowy or icy conditions.
  • Keep a snow brush/scraper in your car, along with possible emergency items such as a lightweight shovel, battery jumper cables, and a flashlight.
  • Make sure that mirrors, all windows, and the top of your vehicle, are free of snow or frost before getting onto the road.
  • Keep a blanket, pair of gloves and anything else you’ll need to stay warm in case of a break-down

STEP 2: DRIVE ATTENTIVELY, SMOOTHLY AND SLOWLY: PRETEND YOUR GRANDMOTHER IS IN THE PASSENGER SEAT.

  • Don’t make any abrupt turns or stops when driving. Doing so will often cause your vehicle to lose control and skid.
  • Driving too quickly is the main cause of winter collisions. Be sure to drive slowly and carefully on snow and ice-covered roads.
  • Don’t tailgate; tailgating becomes much worse in winter weather. Stopping takes much longer on snowy and icy roads than on dry pavement, so be sure to leave enough room between your vehicle and the one in front of you.
  • Brake slowly to reduce speed before entering turns. Once you have rounded the corner you can accelerate again.
  • If your vehicle is equipped with an anti-lock braking system (ABS), do not “pump” the brakes. Apply constant pressure and let the system do its work.
  • Maneuvers are more difficult to make in the snow. Be sure to anticipate what your next move is going to be to give yourself lots of room for turns and stopping.

Step 3: BE A DEFENSIVE DRIVER: NOT EVERYONE HAS TAKEN THE TIME TO READ THIS BLOG.

  • When skidding, you need to go against your natural instincts and turn into the skid and accelerate. Doing so transfers your vehicle’s weight from the front to the rear and often helps vehicles to regain control.
  • Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.
  • Never use cruise control if conditions are snowy, icy, or wet, because if your car hydroplanes, your car will try to accelerate and you may lose control of your vehicle.

PROTECT YOUR LUNGS

piggy bank wearing gas mask and builders hard hat

Respiratory protection plays a key role in protecting yourself on a construction site. Workers often think that a dust mask is adequate protection, however, this is not always the case.

Silica dust is everywhere and it is extremely hazardous. It is important to remember that repeated exposures to silica add up to a total dose that can cause serious lung disease.   The kinds of exposures we see in high exposure tasks, such as sandblasting and tuck-pointing, over time can give a worker enough exposure to put him or her at serious risk for a silica-related illness.

It is important to always protect yourself from airborne hazards by wearing a respirator with the correct filters. At Chandos, we ensure all our workers are offered fit testing when they are first hired and then every year after that; we also provide a respirator for them. Respiratory protection is not just for hazardous material workers, it’s for all construction workers and should be used when necessary.

You can clean the dust off your clothes and hands, but not your lungs.

SEE IT. OWN IT. SHARE IT.

Site safety signs construction site for health and safety, vintage style.Safety is not only about taking precautions, it’s also about taking responsibility.

If you see an unsafe situation, or even a potentially unsafe situation, don’t just walk away. Take responsibility for getting it corrected. Wherever you see something that you believe is unsafe, or could lead to an adverse incident, speak up. If it’s unsafe to actually do something about it yourself, keep others out of the unsafe zone and contact your supervisor.

SEE IT
In order to help promote a safety culture, Chandos employees must be aware of their surroundings. Whether on the job-site, in the office, at home, or in the car, everyone should look out for unsafe conditions.

OWN IT
We often run into a problem called the “by-stander effect” — a situation in which individuals do not offer help to a victim when others are present. It happens in safety; when others are present, people don’t speak up when they see unsafe conditions, because they assume someone else already has. Remove that assumption from your brain — own it when you see it.

SHARE IT
Sharing safety concerns is not tattling. Telling coworkers and/or supervisors what you see is crucial to protecting them. It’s more of a superhero move than anything. Imagine if you saw something, didn’t report it and someone got injured.

At Chandos, we recognize that it’s critical to promote safety awareness not just within our organization, but to provide valuable information and best practices for the construction industry as a whole.