With winter just around the corner, it’s important that we all take the time to think about the upcoming hazards that ice, snow and low temperatures can pose on our worksites and personal lives. In Pennsylvania 86% of all workers get to work by driving/commuting; with the average commute time being 25 minutes each way! This means that there are often a lot of drivers on the road for a significant amount of time.  In many cases, drivers are required to get to work regardless of the weather and roadway conditions and often take risks that may create additional concerns for our roadway workers.


Roadway construction also adds challenges to the mix because construction sites often change traffic patterns.  In low visibility conditions, this can pose additional stress on travelers  who are accustomed to the area.  According to PennDOT approximately 8,449 (7.3%) of crashes in the 2022 occurred during snow, sleet and freezing rain conditions. Within the 2021-2022 winter months the National Weather Service counted approximately 15 wintery/snowy days. So, 7.3% of the year’s total crashes occurred within a very small number of winter days.


Here what you  can you do to help construction sites be better prepared for winter storms and educate employees about safe travel during the winter months.

  • Watch the weather daily and be prepared ahead of time with emergency supplies in case of a storm.
  • Put additional supplies in your car in case you become stranded (clothes, snacks, a blanket, etc.)
  • If it is too much of a risk to drive to work under the current weather conditions, don’t drive.
  • When you must drive in winter conditions or low visibility, it’s important to take your time.  Leave early so you have additional time to get to work safely.
  • Be sure construction signage is plentiful and facing the correct direction (i.e., perpendicular to traffic)
  • Check your equipment and allow for adequate time for it to warm up before beginning operation. Do not use equipment until it reaches operating temperatures.
  • Keep a sizeable amount of salt handy on site for walkways and driving/parking areas.
  • Check your tires for proper pressure and tread for grip. Get them replaced if needed.
  • Keep fire extinguishers up to date and readily available. Sometimes melting/freezing water can cause electrical fires.
  • Know who your emergency responders are and the protocol for emergencies? Know where the nearest hospital is located.


In 2023, 1,293 work zone crashes occurred in Pennsylvania resulting in 14 fatalities.   Together we can work to make our jobsites safer and lower these numbers so everyone goes home to there loved ones.   It starts with being prepared for the seasonal, but predictable changes, of our mother earth.


Written by: Amanda Lay

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