When the Weather outside Is Frightful…

When the Weather outside Is Frightful…


From risk of cold illness to icy roads and walkways, winter weather brings a lot of challenges to the jobsite and our everyday lives. On the job, P&J is required to implement specific protective measures like acclimatization, warming areas, fluid intake, and frequent breaks when outdoor activities create dangerous environmental risks. Cold illnesses can result in severe medical conditions resulting from the body’s loss of stored energy and the inability to maintain a safe core body temperature, and physical hazards such as slips, and falls are also common hazards associated with winter weather.

Stay alert and prepared this season to protect yourself, your coworkers, and your family while you enjoy the holidays!


On the Job:

Supervisors and employees must take extra precautions before, during, and after work in cold weather, and Supervisors must evaluate site conditions before work-reporting times to determine appropriate action.

  1. Can unnecessary travel in snow/icy conditions be eliminated?
  2. Do all employees have ice cleats in impacted areas?
  3. Are parking and walking areas free from snow and ice that could lead to slip and fall accidents?
  4. Are vehicles in extreme cold weather areas equipped with survival gear bags?
  5. Are team members dressed properly for the conditions as to prevent cold weather injury/illness impacts?
  6. Ensure ice melt or similar is available to apply to all working/walking surfaces during freezing weather.
  7. Jobsite trailer steps must have slip resistant material applied.
  8. Conduct vehicle and equipment 360 walk arounds


On the Road:

Preparation is key! Take this opportunity to ensure your vehicles and equipment are weatherized.

  1. Check coolant levels, power output of batteries, and brakes for wear or damage
  2. Inspect tires for wear, proper inflation, and appropriate weather rating for your area
  3. Test the heater, defroster and fans for proper operation
  4. Inspect the windshield for cracks since they can expand when glass is heated from the inside


Now is the time to slow down and focus on the task at hand – when you’re driving to work or on the job site in adverse conditions, pay extra attention to the roads and environment.


  1. Clear all ice, snow, and dirt off the windows, mirrors, and lights,
  2. Clear snow from all vehicle/equipment surfaces – Replace worn or damaged windshield wiper blades
  3. Go slow and steady and Don’t drive in vehicle blind spots
  4. Reduce speed over bridges since suspended surfaces often freeze before the roads
  5. Utilize your head lights anytime there are adverse weather conditions
  6. Avoid sudden braking or pumping brakes (DO NOT BRAKE ON ICE)
  8. Increase normal following distance. Create space between you and the person your following.


On Your Feet:

Make sure you have your winter gear! Appropriate clothing and PPE can go a long way toward keeping you warm and steady on the ice.

  1. Dress appropriately for the weather!
  2. Wear proper footwear and ice cleats on icy walkways.
  3. Shuffle or walk like a penguin to keep your balance.
  4. Maintain walkways at home and on the job site.
  5. Take time to acclimatize yourself to changing temperatures and take frequent breaks when working outside.