With the possibility of slick conditions during winter months due to snow and ice, employees must take extra precautions while working, walking and driving.
If possible snow and ice should be removed in walking or working areas prior to employees entering. If removal is not possible, the following precaution should be taken while walking or working in slick conditions:
- Always use hand rails and plant your feet firmly while climbing stairs.
- Bend your knees and take short steps and walk at a slower pace.
- Avoid placing hands in pockets or carrying heavy loads to increase balance.
- Be prepared for a fall and try to avoid using hands or arms to break your fall.
- Wear boots, overshoe with slip resistant soles or cleats. Boots that have smooth surfaces will increase the risk of slipping.
- Remove as much snow and water from your boot as possible before entering buildings.
- Use extra caution when entering and exiting vehicles always have a secure grip on the vehicle.
- Use retractable lanyards when climbing ladders due to slick conditions.
Driving during slick conditions also greatly increases the risk of vehicle accidents. The following are a list of precaution to follow while driving in slick conditions:
- Allow sufficient time to get to your destination. Accelerating, stopping and turning all take longer on snow cover roads than they do on dry pavement.
- Stay alert and always wear your seat belt.
- Stay calm, maintain a safe speed and drive defensively.
- Maintain a safe distance between you and other vehicles. It is recommended that you should obey the “4 second rule” or longer during slick conditions.
- Make sure your car is in good working order. This includes good tire tread, engine tune up, lights working properly, clean windows and sufficient windshield wiper fluid.
- Plan moves carefully. Never jam on your brakes, instead pump your brakes slightly a few times. Acceleration, turning, passing also present increased hazards.
- Be aware of conditions that could lead to “black ice” since it is almost invisible. “Black ice” usually occurs due to snow melting and re-freezing. Pavement that may be covered in “black ice” may look dry but appear darker in color and dull looking.
- Be extra cautious on bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled road because they will be the first ones to freeze.
- Watch out for snow plows and sand truck and do not try to pass them.
- If you get stuck do not spin your wheels. Try to turn the wheels side to side to remove the snow around them. Then lightly touch the gas to ease the car out. If this doesn’t work try to shovel around the wheels or pour sand, gravel or salt around the wheels.