Cold weather is almost here, and with each day the mercury drops a little bit more. If you’re a heavy equipment operator, wintertime doesn’t mean the work is done, but it does mean that you have a few more things to keep an eye out for. Stay safe with these tips.

Dress for the Weather: You may be tempted to leave your heavy jacket and toque at home when you leave for the jobsite, thinking that you’ll be able to stay warm in your machine’s cab. Don’t forget that you have to leave that cab in both planned and UNplanned circumstances! Dress in layers so you can be comfortable all day long.

Don’t Touch Metal With Your Bare Hands: We’ve all seen those videos on the internet of some poor kid licking a frozen metal pole, and having their tongue get stuck. Remember that that can happen with your bare hands, too. If you need to inspect your vehicle, or even just climbing in and out of your cab, put your gloves on to avoid trouble.

Watch Your Step: Colder weather means slippery surfaces. Steps, handholds, and grip plates may all be covered in ice. Be careful getting in and out of your cab. Keep in mind also that if your machine is icy, the roads may be, too, so drive accordingly.

Take Breaks: Cold weather means your body is working harder than usual to keep your temperature regulated. Warm beverages, healthy snacks, and frequent breaks to keep you awake are more important than ever.

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