With icy sidewalks and nearly impassable roadways, some winter mornings may just not be worth getting out of bed. But as a responsible employee, you likely make plans to get up extra early to shovel out your vehicle or make it to the subway on time. You have the best intentions to get to work and on time but Mother Nature does not want to always cooperate.
There are many risks taken during winter’s cold, snowy months. Every time you leave home, you are at risk for taking a fall on the ice, having your vehicle spin out on bad road conditions, or even put in danger due to another person’s pedestrian or vehicular accidents just to get to work. For some, the work environment during the winter is their greatest risk. Those employed as drivers, taxi operators, long and short-haul truckers, and even local delivery people often put their own health and welfare at risk by being on the road in snowy or icy conditions.
The multitude of accidents and injuries incurred during the winter months range from back injuries while shoveling snow to the most serious cases – that of fatalities as a driver or a pedestrian. With many people already highly frustrated by the bad weather and worried about being late for work, anger levels are also increased and can cause road rage incidents, vehicle accidents, and unsafe driving conditions for all.
It is essential for all heading out to work to realize that regardless of your job position, there are sometime circumstances beyond our control. When inclement weather is predicted, it is important to pre-schedule an earlier leave time to ensure you can take precautions on the drive in and not find yourself in a rush on a dangerous road.
It is also imperative that you give respect and courtesy to those employed on work crews who are out salting and plowing the roadways for increased driver safety. Watch your speed limit and don’t be in a hurry to pass a slow-moving work vehicle. These people are only trying to do their job and protect your interests. Too often people hurried rush past work crews and end up causing vehicle accidents for others and dangers to the road crew.
Courtesy and proper planning for bad weather should be at the forefront of our concerns. Employers should also be somewhat flexible in their expectations for their employees during a treacherous commute. Additionally, part of health and safety protocol of a work environment should include the clearing of parking lots and walkways surrounding the building to ensure employees are not subjected to icy falls. Any unsafe work conditions should be reported to management immediately.