Winter weather conditions have arrived early this year and with the cold snap comes an increased risk of accidents. Here are some tips to help you stay safe on the roads and at work during winter conditions.
Driving in winter
During winter months the number of road traffic incidents tends to increase, but this risk can be minimised by careful planning of activities and journey routes. Did you know that stopping distances increase dramatically when driving in poor weather conditions? They can double in the wet and increase ten-fold in ice and snow. Remember to take extra care, drive at a suitable speed and allow extra time for your journey if necessary.
Reduce the chances of breaking down in cold weather
Breakdowns sharply increase when the weather turns cold, so it’s essential to take the time to ensure you carry out the right checks on your car. Any underlying mechanical issues could escalate as temperatures plummet. Read more about how to reduce the chances of breaking down in cold weather here.
Working on site in winter
If you work on a construction site make sure you can be seen clearly by keeping hi-visibility clothing clean and intact. Ground conditions can deteriorate so take extra care to avoid slips, trips and falls.
Stay warm by wearing multiple thin layers which are more effective than one thick layer. Also be sure to consider how heavy clothes might limit your range of motion while performing your daily tasks. Protect against wind chill by covering all exposed skin. If your outerwear, such as socks or gloves, start to feel damp ensure you quickly change into dry ones.
Take frequent breaks in warm, dry areas to warm up.
Eat well and stay hydrated
Nutritionists recommend eating foods that take longer to digest when it’s cold, as this helps raise your body temperature (a process called “thermogenesis”). Examples include bananas, oats, coffee, red meat and sweet potatoes. Many foods with healthy fats, proteins, and carbohydrates are complex and take longer to digest.
It is also important to drink more water than you typically do because, surprisingly, we dehydrate faster in cold temperatures.
Report all hazards and near misses
If any safety event occurs at work, including ones related to cold weather, reporting the incident helps identify and resolve issues to make sure everyone stays safe at work all year round.