The House Stark motto from the HBO series Game of Thrones, is both a warning and call to action. In the fictional series, winter lasts for years; it’s brutal.
Winter is coming and with it we are reminded to prepare. We’ll be getting skates sharpened, buying ski goggles that conform to ASTM standards, splitting firewood with equipment manufactured and maintained according to standards, stocking up on road salt, readying plows and snow removal equipment and much more. Are you ready for winter?
Winter sports equipment such as ski helmets, Ice Hockey Face Protectors, clothing and coats, slip and fall protection, snow removal, fire safety, backup power generators are covered by US and international standards. Snowfall adds weight to roofs posing the risk of structural damage or collapse and makes travel difficult but also offers the opportunity to go snowmobiling, build snowmen and enjoy relaxing by the fireplace. Gardeners and farmers take this opportunity to drain irrigation systems, repair tools and do planning, fire departments, utilities, municipalities and railroads prepare for service disruptions and emergency response.
Standards play an important role in keeping workers safe when using snow removal equipment with rotating components. Labeling hazards and eliminating pinch points are essential to preventing injury and are a constant focus of standards developers and the manufacturers of equipment. When the plows travel, maintenance departments are using GPS and software to track their locations, equipment makers are following standards for manufacturing plows and hydraulicsand crews are cleaning parking areas to reduce slips and falls. Standards govern data acquisition and transmission in road vehicles, such as Winter and road service area maintenance equipment – Data acquisition and transmission – Part 2: Protocol for data transfer between information supplier and client application server.
Good resources for further reading explain the economic costs of slips and falls, and offer advice on preparing for the cold and snow:
Awareness and Prevention of Trips, Slips and Falls Winter Storms & Extreme Cold | Ready.govPreparation is Key to Dealing with Winter Weather | FEMA.gov