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L&W Supply Offers Winter Safety Tips

Winter cityscape from skyscraper L&W Supply construction site

Jobsite safety may be a year-round priority, but the winter months present unique challenges for contractors, builders, and anybody working on a jobsite. A key part of L&W Supply’s culture of safety involves making sure that each and every one of our associates is equipped with the proper knowledge, equipment, and oversight in order to conduct their jobs safely. Being properly prepared for the winter months is an important part of our culture of safety and something that our managers reinforce every year.

Depending on which region of the country you live in, such as the northern climates, you may experience heavier winter conditions than others. With cold weather comes snow, ice, and rain, all of which can provide potential safety hazards on the roads and at jobsites.

We spoke to a number of L&W Supply’s Branch Managers to discuss some of their top winter safety tips. As with any aspect of safety, there can be no “one size fits all” solution. Safety is an ongoing process and must be reinforced at many different aspects of a company’s culture. For more information about L&W Supply’s culture of safety, visit this page: https://lwsupply.com/about-us/safety/

Winter construction site

Construction site in the middle of winter.

Have a Winter Safety Plan

Among the many annoyances that cold weather can bring, delays are among the most frustrating. Even just getting to your vehicle in the morning or commuting to work requires more careful planning when snow and ice are involved. A good way to avoid some of these potential delays that the cold can bring is to establish ahead of time what responsibilities each associate will take on when the weather turns. This is where a Winter Safety plan can be helpful:

“In order to be as safe as possible when the winter comes along, we have created our own winter safety program to proactively plan each person’s responsibilities during the winter. These include: shoveling the sidewalks, salting the parking lot, and clearing walkways of snow and ice. Additionally, we always make sure to have salt bags on our trucks for our delivery crew and provide hand warmers to help keep hands dry and warm.” – Ryan Langenderfer, Branch Manager, Perrysburg, OH

Stay Dry / Stay Wam

Don Nielsen, Branch Manager of Idaho Falls, says that he emphasizes the importance of “staying dry during the winter” to his team. Wet clothes, especially ones made of cotton, can take a long time to dry once they become damp. Additionally, Don reinforces that with shorter days in the winter comes more of a reliance on additional sources of lighting in order to keep jobsites safe and workers visible:

“We emphasize the importance of staying dry in cold weather; although it’s not required, we recommend the use of bibs/coveralls in winter over clothing for an added layer of warmth and protection. With the days being shorter during the winter it’s more likely employees will be on a jobsite in the dark. We supply them with headlamps for their hard hats, and have highly visible flags for backing the delivery trucks.” – Don Nielsen, Branch Manager, Idaho Falls, ID

Clearing snow from a walkway

Shoveling show is a great way to keep people safe.

Don’t Forget Backups

The winter brings predictable challenges for associates and managers at a jobsite, but it can also bring unpredictable ones. These can come up in the form of additional delays, car trouble, or a task taking longer than it may have in the spring or summer. This level of uncertainty means that a little extra preparation – such as additional supplies or extra equipment – can go a long way towards keeping everybody safe. Two of our Colorado Branch Managers share their tips here on some details not to overlook when preparing for cold weather:

“Always carry the extras: clothing, blankets, antifreeze, windshield washer fluid, and dry gloves. Don’t underestimate the importance of taking breaks to keep warm when outside for extended periods of time.” – James Armstrong, Branch Manager, Aurora, CO

“We heavily encourage advanced preparation. Check and repair tire snow chains in the summer months; it’s much easier than trying to fix them in sub-zero weather conditions. Chain tires in the street before entering the jobsite; trying to chain up after your stuck is like putting on a parachute after you jump. Also, locate shovels and snow removal equipment before the first snow.” – Ray Armstrong, Branch Manager & Managing Partner, Colorado Springs, CO

If you would like to read more about cold weather preparation, or learn more about how to keep you and your team members safe in the winter months, check out the following articles from publications in our industry. Additionally, please visit our Culture of Safety page to learn more about L&W Supply. Stay warm!