Winter is Mother Nature’s driving test for all employees who drive for any work-related reason. (Your visits to job sites count, by the way.) As a health and safety professional, you can help ensure everyone passes the test.
Nearly 40% of all work-related crashes resulting in injury and time off work in BC occur from November through February. Crashes are the leading cause of work-related traumatic deaths. Driving for work is dangerous every time workers get behind the wheel, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
Here are 4 steps from ShiftintoWinter.ca
you can take to help reduce the risks.
Step 1: Help your employer understand their responsibilities
Take our no-cost Winter Driving Safety for Employers and Supervisors Online Course
and encourage other managers to sign up too. It shows you how to implement and monitor a winter driving safety program. Complete the course and exit survey by December 15 to be entered into a draw for a set of winter tires courtesy of Kal Tire (estimated value up to $1,000).
Step 2: Prepare and plan ahead
Don’t wait for poor weather before acting. As soon as possible, identify the unique winter driving-related hazards
your employees will most likely face. Review it with employees who drive and with your organization’s management team. Assess the level of risk and decide how to manage it. Some examples include:
Step 3: Develop/update driving policy and procedures
- Ensure all vehicles are maintained and equipped for winter driving (proper winter tires and chains, an emergency kit, winter wiper blades, etc.).
- Postpone or eliminate driving if possible when conditions are poor.
- Have drivers visit DriveBC.ca before travelling to check weather and road conditions.
Ensure your organization’s guidelines are in writing and review them with employees. Set safe driving expectations and supervise employees to make sure they’re being met. Use our winter driving safety policy and procedures
template to get started.
Step 4: Train and educate drivers
All employees who drive as part of their job need winter driving orientation. Don’t overlook office staff who drive to make supplies runs or sales calls. Have them all review our Driving for the Conditions Tool Kit
and Practical BC Winter Driving Tips
webinar. Use our tailgate meeting guides
at safety meetings to emphasize key driving points.