Winter Weather Preparedness
At Accident Fund, we know it’s critical to be prepared for winter weather threats, as well as develop an action plan to be ready when severe winter weather strikes. The safety of you and your employees may count on it.
- Each year, dozens of Americans die due to exposure to cold. Add vehicle accidents with the potential for serious injury or fatalities, and other winter weather elements, and you have a significant threat.
- Hypothermia and frostbite can lead to loss of fingers and toes or cause permanent kidney, pancreas and liver injury or even death. You must prepare properly to avoid these extreme dangers.
- Winter storms are unpredictable and can last for several days. Most involve high winds, freezing rain or sleet, heavy snowfall and frigid temperatures.
- People can become trapped in their car if caught in a winter storm — an especially important point if your company employs drivers or has teammates who travel for work.
- The aftermath of a winter storm can have an impact on a community or region for days, weeks or even months.
- Extremely cold temperatures, heavy snow and flooding can cause hazardous conditions and hidden risks.
Stay safer this season
- Walk carefully on snowy or icy sidewalks.
- If you’re responsible for shoveling snow, be extremely careful, as it’s physically strenuous work. Take frequent breaks. Avoid overexertion — heart attacks from shoveling heavy snow are a leading cause of deaths during winter.
- Avoid traveling by car, but if you must, keep the gas tank full for emergency use and to keep your fuel line from freezing. Let someone know your destination, the route you are taking, and when you expect to arrive. If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route.
- If you do get stuck, stay with your car — don’t try to walk to safety. Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna for rescuers to see. Start the car and use the heater for about 10 minutes every hour and keep the exhaust pipe clear so fumes don’t back up in the car. Leave the overhead light on when the engine is running so you can be seen. As you sit, move your arms and legs to keep blood circulating and stay warm. Keep one window cracked open to let in air.
- After the storm, avoid driving until conditions have improved — listen to local radio and television stations for updates.
With tools, such as our Winter Weather Preparedness Guidebook, you’ll be well-prepared for what to do when winter weather strikes. Accident Fund policyholders can log into our website for a variety of additional safety tools and tips. If you’re not a customer, click here for WorkSafe information. Or click here to find an Accident Fund agent near you!