Follow our seasonal tips to ensure you stay healthy and safe during the winter months

Health
The winter months bring some additional challenges, to keep you healthy and safe bear these tips in mind:

  • Stay fuelled up on food. Winter is one of those times you can give yourself permission to eat a little more. Cold weather tends to make us burn calories more quickly.
  • Try to eat foods which keep you going for longer – for example, ‘slow release’ foods such as oats, bananas and brown rice are good for this.
  • Keep yourself moving to reduce the risk of fatigue and mitigate the risk of hypothermia. Warm up somewhere inside wherever possible.
  • Get a flu jab if you can.
  • Take extra supplies of prescribed medication with you, just in case you cannot get home.
  • Pay close attention to issues such as poor lighting, potholes or any other hazards with the potential to cause injury.
  • Report them as soon as you are able to.

Driving
It is even more important in winter to take care whilst driving. The weather increases the safety risk to those travelling in your vehicle, and other road users. By reminding ourselves of the essentials of good driving, we can help make the roads a safer place in winter too.

Here are some tips to consider:

  • Plan your route and check traffic information before setting off.
  • Check your tyre pressure, tread depth, wipers, fluids and lights.
  • Give yourself an extra five minutes to fully clear your windows before setting off in the cold.
  • Allow more distance than usual between you and other road users in adverse conditions.
  • See if you can share the driving to reduce fatigue on long journeys.
  • Schedule regular breaks.
  • Be aware of the low winter sun: remember your sunglasses!

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

What we wear can make a huge difference in the winter months, ensuring we feel fit, able and alert for the task at hand.

Some tips for dressing right for winter:

  • Keep your PPE clean - the reflective strips should always be visible.
  • Wear the right PPE for the weather conditions. If you don’t feel it’s suitable, discuss this with your line manager.
  • Wear more layers. You can always add or remove layers as the temperature changes.
  • Ensure you order approved industry balaclavas, rather than opt for a hoodie.

Examples of winter reports

Here are some examples of winter-related concerns that have been reported to CIRAS:

  • PPE that is inadequate for the seasonal requirements. For example, boots or jackets might not be well-insulated enough or lack weatherproofing.
  • Scheduled travel to worksites may not allow for reasonable delays in winter driving conditions.
  • Fatigue and a lack of sleep may be affecting alertness and safety performance.