Health and Safety Report
Volume 16, Issue 12

On Topic

This Holiday Season Make Sure Winter Driving Safety is on Your Listprint this article

Bitter cold, snow, slippery roads and unpredictable weather conditions are just a few elements of a Canadian winter that can make driving conditions risky. You can’t change the weather, however you can prepare for it.

Get ready for the road by planning before heading out. Decide on your travel route in advance and then check the road and weather conditions. Allow plenty of time for your journey, and let someone know where you’ll be travelling and when you expect to arrive. Avoid driving altogether if you are fatigued.

Visibility is vital to safety on the road, so take the time to warm up your vehicle to reduce condensation on the windows, and remove any snow and ice that may reduce your visibility. Don’t forget your cell phone, car phone charger and your sunglasses.

Dress warmly and comfortably, but if you decide to add or remove a layer, don’t do it while driving – pull over and stop the vehicle.

Prepare Your Vehicle

Keeping your vehicle in good technical repair reduces the chances of a mishap or disaster. Have your electrical, exhaust, heating/cooling, fuel and braking system thoroughly checked. Make sure the vehicle is equipped with snow tires and ensure windshield wipers are in good condition. When winter hits, protect yourself from carbon monoxide exposure by keeping the exhaust pipe clear of snow and checking the system for leaks. Don’t let the fuel level get too low, and always keep an extra container of antifreeze – rated for the coldest temperatures – in your vehicle.

If weather conditions are nasty, the safest thing to do is delay your trip and stay put until the road and weather conditions improve. If you really must drive, check the weather and road conditions before you head out and prepare yourself for any emergency that you may encounter. This means keeping a well-stocked winter driving emergency kit in your vehicle.

Keep the following items in your vehicle for emergencies:

Get unstuck

  • shovel
  • bag of sand, salt, kitty litter
  • traction mats
  • tire chains
  • tow chain
  • battery booster cables
  • spare tire, wheel wrench and jack

Keep it clear

  • snow brush
  • ice scraper
  • extra anti-freezing windshield wiper fluid
  • roll of paper towels or cloth

See and be seen

  • road flares, emergency lights or other colourful help signs
  • reflective vest
  • flashlight (and extra batteries)
  • whistle

Stranded? Stay safe and warm

  • blanket or sleeping bag
  • extra clothing, gloves and warm footwear
  • empty can for melting snow
  • matches or lighter
  • emergency candles to heat a drink or for heat (to be used only with a window opened to prevent the build-up of carbon monoxide)
  • snack bars or other "emergency" food and water
  • insulated bottle of hot beverage
  • first aid kit


  • road maps
  • fire extinguisher
  • fuel line anti-freeze/de-icer
  • a fully charged cell phone

Don't Panic

If you get stuck in a storm or bad weather, don't panic. Take the necessary precautions to ensure that your vehicle will be seen by placing flares or help signs around the vehicle. Be sure it is safe to leave your vehicle before you do this to avoid getting hit by passing traffic. As much as possible, avoid overexerting yourself and exposing yourself to the cold and snow.

Call for help and use the contents of your emergency kit to stay safe and warm in your vehicle. Use your emergency candle carefully for heat and open your window slightly to ensure that you have a supply of fresh air. Don't run the engine with the window closed as this can expose you to dangerous exhaust fumes.

Remember, we can't predict the weather, however we can prepare for it.



Health and Safety To Go

Looking Forward - Anne Tennierprint this article

This month’s featured podcasts include Looking Forward with Anne Tennier and an encore presentation of Keeping Your Holiday Happy: Tips from CCOHS.

Feature Podcast: Looking Forward – Anne Tennier

Anne Tennier, President and Chief Executive Officer at the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) shares a holiday message along with her thoughts on the importance of collaboration, and what to look for in occupational health and safety in the new year.

The podcast runs 5:19 minutes.  Listen to the podcast now.

Encore Podcast: Keeping Your Holiday Happy: Tips from CCOHS

CCOHS offers advice and shares tips on how to prevent stress throughout the holidays.

The podcast runs 4:12 minutes. Listen to the podcast now.


CCOHS produces free monthly podcasts on a wide variety of topics designed to keep you current with information, tips, and insights into the health, safety, and well-being of working Canadians. You can download the audio segment to your computer or MP3 player and listen to it at your own convenience... or on the go!

See the complete list of podcast topics. Better yet, subscribe to the series on iTunes and don't miss a single episode.


Forum 2019: Prepare to Be Inspiredprint this article

Make a plan to join us in Winnipeg in March and get a head start on taking action with this forward-looking, thought-provoking Forum that kicks off with futurist Nikolas Badminton presenting on artificial intelligence and how work will change over the next 5, 10, 15 years and beyond.

The workplace is changing where being more accommodating, diverse and inclusive is not just expected but essential for any organization. CCOHS has put together its most ambitious line-up of speakers ever, and the good news, is that you will get to hear all of them, with no break-outs or choosing required.

We are hoping to inspire you with courageous stories of leadership, motivation, teamwork and trust. Darby Allen, retired Fort McMurray Fire Chief will share his story of how he lead his team through the one of the worst wild fires in Canadian history, without a single fatality.

Nora Spinks, CEO, the Vanier Institute of the Family, will tackle the changing needs of workers and the availability and effectiveness of workplace supports for working caregivers.

Dr. Lionel Laroche will help us understand, bridge, and reap the benefits of cultural diversity.

The Forum provides a wonderful opportunity to meet and engage with leaders, influencers and change makers from across Canada, with very different perspectives. You will get an understanding of how the changing workforce, the changing workplace, and the changing nature of work have already impacted us and the way we work. You will have plenty of opportunities to engage the speakers and discuss ideas and solutions on how we can all keep pace, keep well, and keep safe.

We have only mentioned four, but there are many more topics and speakers in this jam-packed program. You can find the complete list on the Forum 2019 website.

5 Reasons to Attend Forum 2019

The conference is filling up. Don’t miss the chance to get inspired, and to expand your network by getting to know health and safety professionals from all across Canada.


About the Forum

CCOHS Forum 2019 will take place on March 5 - 6, 2019, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Discounts are available for CCOHS Members and full-time students.

Register Now

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