While it is important to practice safety year-round, winter is crucial. Snow and ice can cause falls, driving difficulties, and even health issues. Once the holidays have ended, winter enters its darkest and coldest months. January and February can contain snow, harsh winds, and bitter cold temperatures. Here are some of our favorite winter tips to help protect you from the elements.
Safety Tips for Winter
1.) Travel Safety
One of the best parts about working per diem is the change of location. You are able to get a change of scenery and are faced with different tasks every day. While traveling does have its benefits, it can become a little more challenging in the winter. Depending on your travel preferences, your job location may change from day to day. When driving in poor weather conditions, it is important to stay alert. Pay attention to your surroundings, as well as to others who are on the road. Drive slowly; everything takes more time in the snow (stopping, making turns, even accelerating.) You do not want lose control of the vehicle on a slipper surface. Make sure that your tires have enough tread on them and are properly inflated. Click here to see more tips about how to drive safely in the snow.
2.) Pack Your Car for Winter
Snow in New England is like sunshine in Florida; it will happen. Make sure you have a snow brush somewhere in case a surprise snow storm comes. Also, it is a good idea to keep some rock salt, sand, or cat litter in your trunk. If your tires get stuck in the snow, these items will help. Just spread some around your tires to help melt the snow. As an added bonus, keeping these heavy bags in your trunk can help you to gain traction if you should get stuck. As mentioned previously, it is also smart to keep some warm clothes in your car. An extra hat, coat, gloves, sweatshirt, or even a blanket can be helpful. If your car gets stuck anywhere, these items will help you to stay warm while you are waiting for help.
3.) Bundle Up
While this probably goes without saying, it is important to stay warm. Whether you are heading out for an early morning shift, or coming home from a late shift, it is going to be freezing outside. Be sure to wear layers. Additionally, it is a good idea to keep extra layers in your car or your work bag. This way, you have access to extra clothing just in case you need it. If you are placed in a facility where the temperatures are cold, or if you are waiting for public transportation, you will have extra clothing in case you need it.
4.) Practice Shoveling Safety
Similar to our blog on Leaf Raking, form is very important. If possible, try to push the snow rather than lift and toss it. If you do have to lift the snow, remember to lift heavy loads with your knees and not your back. Pulling the snow up with your back can cause muscle strain and pain. Remember to take frequent breaks and re-hydrate often. It may be tempting to shovel out everything all at once, but it is important to give the body time to rest. Overworking yourself can cause pain, exhaustion, and dehydration.
Winters in New England can be very beautiful; the snow-covered trees, the white mountain tops, and the sparkling winter snow are unique to this area. When you practice these winter safety tips, you will be able to enjoy the season to its fullest extent.