Although cold stress is not usually a hazard for countertop fabricators, winter weather provides obstacles for everyone in any business that requires travel. Installers must often drive in snow or have snow removed from their place of business.
Of course, fabricators cannot control roadway conditions, but they can promote safe driving behavior when winter hazards are present. These hazards include driving in snowy and icy conditions. Employers are recommended to promote safe driving at all times, and an effective maintenance program is prescribed to limit crashes and injuries.
The following vehicle systems should be regularly inspected to ensure they are working properly:
- Brakes – Brakes should be even and balanced, and brake fluid should be at the required level.
- Coolant – A recommended mixture of 50 percent antifreeze and 50 percent water prevents overheating. Ensure coolant is at the proper level.
- Electrical – Always make sure that the ignition works without fault and that the battery is fully charged with clean connections. It is also a good idea to check the alternator belt for wear.
- Tires – Tires should have decent tread depth with no unevenness or damage.
- Oil – Oil must be within the indicated range.
In addition to vehicle safety, winter poses other safety threats. Shoveling snow in the cold can be particularly taxing on the body. Use of proper lifting techniques and taking frequent breaks in warm places are crucial.
To prevent slips on snow and ice, walkways should be cleared with the help of a deicer. Wearing proper footwear is also essential. Boots that are insulated, waterproof and have good, rubber soles work best in snow and ice.
For other recommendations about safely working in the winter months, read the full article on the OSHA website.