2014 August

14 Things To Know About Winter Driving

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Driving safely in winter weather


Falling snow can be picturesque, but it can also wreak havoc on the roads. While no one enjoys driving in snowy or slippery conditions, there are steps you can take to help improve your safety.


Here are some guidelines that can help you stay safe when driving in adverse winter conditions:

  1. Make sure your car is prepared for cold temperatures and wintery conditions like snow and ice. Keep your equipment properly maintained and include awinter survival kit in your vehicle: an ice scraper, snow shovel and sand/salt. Jumper cables are also a good idea since batteries are prone to failure during cold weather.
  2. Clear snow and ice off your car – including windows, mirrors, lights, reflectors, hood, roof and trunk.
  3. Drive with your headlights on, and be sure to keep them clean to improve visibility.
  4. Use caution when snow banks limit your view of oncoming traffic.
  5. Avoid using cruise control in snowy or icy conditions. In adverse conditions, you want as much control of your car as possible.
  6. Know how to brake on slippery surfaces. Vehicles with anti-lock brakes operate much differently from those that do not have anti-lock brakes. You should consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for instructions on how to brake properly if your vehicle should start to skid.
  7. Maintain at least a half tank of gas during the winter season. This helps ensure you have a source of heat if you are stuck or stranded.
  8. If you do venture out or are unexpectedly caught in a snowstorm and encounter problems, stay in your car and wait for help. You can run the car heater to stay warm for 10 minutes every hour, but make sure your exhaust pipe is clear of snow. There is a danger of carbon monoxide poisoning if snow blocks the pipe and enables the deadly gas to build up in your car. Open your window slightly to help prevent the buildup.
  9. Keep your windshield washer reservoir full, and make sure your car has wiper blades that are in good condition.
  10. Remember that speed limits are meant for dry roads, not roads covered in snow and ice. You should reduce your speed and increase your following distance as road conditions and visibility worsen.
  11. Be cautious on bridges and overpasses as they are commonly the first areas to become icy.
  12. Avoid passing snow plows and sand trucks. The drivers can have limited visibility, and the road in front of them could be worse than the road behind.
  13. Monitor road and weather conditions by checking local news stations or Internet traffic and weather sites.
  14. If you must travel during a snowstorm or in blizzard conditions, be sure to let a relative, friend or coworker know where you are headed and your expected arrival time. Avoid the temptation to check or be on your phone while driving as all of your attention should be on arriving safely.


What to Do When an Injury Occurs by Pinnacol

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What to Do When an Injury Occurs
The first 24 hours following a workplace accident are critical to your injured employee and to you. In almost all cases, reporting an injury immediately helps employees recover and return to work faster. By reporting the injury early and actively managing the claim, claims costs can also be lowered. Getting familiar with the following four steps will help you prepare for an employee injury, in the unfortunate event that one should occur:

1. Get medical treatment for your employee
If your employee’s injury is life-threatening, go to the nearest hospital emergency room. Get him or her stabilized – that’s top priority. In all other cases, give your employee your Designated Provider List Notification Letter, have him or her select a provider from your list and take your employee to the doctor. Your employee will appreciate your concern and you will gain important information about the injury, recommended treatment and an outlook for returning to work. It is best to document that you have provided the injured worker with this information. (Whenever possible, we recommend having your employee sign and date the letter. Give the employee one signed copy and keep one signed copy for your records.) If the employee is initially taken to an emergency room, the designated provider will step in afterward to manage all related follow-up care.
2. Investigate the accident
Use the Accident/Incident Investigation Report and the Employee Accident Report, found on the Claims Management Resources page on pinnacol.com/resources to thoroughly investigate any accidents. Complete your investigation immediately, before memories fade and evidence is lost. Conducting an Accident Investigation is an important prevention tool which can help you further mitigate accidents and enhance your safety program. Make sure to watch Pinnacol’s Accident Investigation webinar at pinnacolchannel.com to learn more.
3. Report the Injury to Pinnacol
Provide all information requested on the First Report of Injury form, but don’t wait to report if you don’t have all the information. Be sure to relay any questions or concerns about the injury when you report it. You can report an injury within 24 hours the following ways:
• Web: www.pinnacol.com
• Phone: 303.361.4000 or 800.873.7242
• Fax: 303.361.5000 or 888.329.2251
August 2013
4. Complete the wage history form and plan for modified duty
If your employee is unable to return to regular duty work, provide an accurate average weekly wage with the Wage History form. Start thinking about what modified duty tasks the injured employee may be able to assist with. In addition to helping the injured worker stay connected at work, returning an injured employee to work at modified duty can also decreases claims costs. or information on modified duty, refer to Pinnacol’s Return-to-Work Resources found on the Resources page of pinnacol.com.
Planning ahead is crucial to both your employees’ safety and to effective claims management. Proactively understanding what to do in the event of an injury can help you prevent an accident and react quickly in the case that an injury occurs. Don’t forget to make sure your managers, supervisors, foremen and employees also know about and understand what to do if an injury occurs. For more information on injury reporting and the claims management process, visit Pinnacol.com/resources and click on Claims Management Resources.

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