Temps are dropping, and winter is making its presence known. In Kansas City, autumn is usually short-lived, so we will quickly find ourselves in the throes of colder temperatures. Are your drivers and vehicles ready for the shock of cold, snow and ice?
Manufacturing, construction and non-profits all have a fleet of vehicles, or at the least, people driving while on the clock. Everyone needs to be ready for the winter weather, which often surprises us in the fall.
Making sure your employees understand the hazards of icy roads, snow and colder temperatures should be a priority before such conditions appear. And all drivers and vehicles should have the proper supplies in the vehicle throughout the cold months.
- Each vehicle should already have first aid kits, whether it’s winter or summer. There are plenty of opportunities to utilize them to help employees with minor medical needs.
- Jumper cables help vehicles get up and running after the cold weather zaps a vehicle’s battery. As temperatures fall, batteries become more prone to failure. This is because chemical reactions in batteries are slower to react in lower temperatures. When batteries run down, they no longer deliver enough current to start a vehicle. If a driver gets stranded in freezing temps, they won’t be able to keep the heat going while they wait for help.
- Cell phones work great…when fully charged. It is advised to keep them well charged should you need to make an emergency call for assistance on the side of the road or you are stranded for a while. Place a cell phone charger in the vehicle to keep it topped off during the winter months.
- Many people do not dress for the weather to keep a professional appearance in meetings or they work in a heated environment. Additional winter clothing and blankets should be kept in the car in case of a breakdown or going off the road.
- A windshield scraper and snow brush will keep windshields clear of debris. Reinforce to drivers that they should not drive after only clearing a small spot on the windshield (some people call this a “porthole”). We’ve all seen or done this, I’m willing to bet. You get a small clearing and drive before the full window shield has been cleared. Driving before the entire windshield has defrosted and cleared provides a limited view and is very dangerous.
- Last, if you have space, a bag of kitty litter or rock salt can provide traction if your tires have difficulty in snow or iced conditions.
These tips are not just good for companies but can also be used by employees at home. Let’s all keep safe this winter both for work and with our families.