Every Winter when temperatures dip and snow and ice begin to come down, businesses are forced to make hard decisions about when and how they will have their employees operating motor vehicles. In some parts of the country, not driving in icy conditions is simply not an option. Unless the business can deal with minimal operations for an extended portion of the Winter. For that reason, it is extremely important to focus on workplace safety by preparing your staff to deal with the risks your business faces out on the roads. Here are several tips to help you get to where your going safe and sound.
Adequately Maintain your Vehicles for safe Winter Driving
Proper maintenance should be done to all vehicles in the fall before the temperatures drop. Having a mechanic on staff or a dependable mechanic that you trust is important. This mechanic should be able to help you determine how much anti-freeze your vehicles need for the conditions you face in your area, whether you need to switch to winter tires and if you need to keep chains available for the vehicles you use.
Have a few staff members monitoring the Weather
Keeping an eye on the weather forecast is important during the Winter Months. It is important to have more than one employee who is responsible for monitoring the conditions and for them to know what conditions are simply too treacherous for your staff to be out in their vehicles. It is important to have more than one employee responsible for this activity because employees call in sick, go on vacation and leave your organization. it is important not to be stuck in a situation where you are not available and the staff does not know who is in charge of monitoring the conditions.
The only way to drive safely on ice is to go slow. Having four wheel drive vehicles may help your staff get out of a ditch after they have run off the road, but it will not prevent slipping on ice. Driving slowly and giving yourself plenty of distance is always the best way to drive when you are dealing with snow and ice.
Procedures for when an Employee is Stuck
When an employee is stuck somewhere for some reason, it is beneficial for them to have a Winter Safety Kit in the vehicle with them. Many sporting goods stores have most of the supplies you may need to keep handy. An emergency sleeping bag or at least a blanket should be available. Some snacks and bottled water are a good idea as well. A shovel, an ice scraper and other tools may be beneficial to help get them out of many situations.
Stay Home instead of Winter Driving
The best way to prevent having to use any of these tips is to stay off the roads and do not drive unless you absolutely have to.