For employers and supervisors

Winter can be the most dangerous time of the year for employees who drive for work in BC. Employers and supervisors need to plan ahead and be prepared for the change in seasons to help keep drivers safe. Use our templates and other resources to reduce risk and protect your most valuable asset — your staff.

What employers and supervisors need to know

Any work-related driving puts employees at risk. Winter increases the risk, especially when drivers go too fast for the road and weather conditions. Nearly 40% of all work-related crashes resulting in injury and time off work occur from November through February in BC.

The highest-risk occupations, according to WorkSafeBC statistics, are:

  • Transport truck drivers
  • Delivery and courier service drivers
  • Bus drivers, subway operators, and other transit operators
  • Community health support services employees

Meeting your safety responsibilities

Employers are required to keep their employees safe when they drive for work. Supervisors have similar duties for employees who report directly to them. Make sure you know your responsibilities.

To help meet them at this time of year, address winter driving in your road safety plan. You’ll find a lot of the information you need in our What Employers Need to Know (PDF 1 MB) and What Supervisors Need to Know (PDF 177 KB) guides. Review our Winter Driving Safety Planning Tool Kit for steps you can take before, during, and after winter.

If you have vehicles over 5500 kg GVW, review our commercial carriers information.

Our guide for the community and home care sector (PDF 1 MB) suggests 4 steps employers can take to help keep employees safe while driving.

Identifying winter hazards and assessing risk

Your employees encounter many driving hazards all year long. Hazards such as distractions, speeding, fatigue, worn tires, and traffic pose risks at any time. In winter, however, drivers have to deal with even more hazards. Slippery roads, reduced visibility, fewer daylight hours and poorly equipped vehicles make the likelihood of a crash in winter even greater.

Here are some of the common hazards your drivers may come across and why you need to pay even more attention to them during the winter:

Driver hazards
Weather and road hazards
Vehicle hazards

To manage increased risks during winter, it’s important that you winterize your road safety risk assessment. Start by reviewing our Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment Tool Kit to learn more about risk assessments. Next, use RiskCheck to identify the hazards that expose your drivers to the greatest risks. Then, use the recommendations, links and resources in RiskCheck to build and implement measures to reduce winter driving risks.

Developing policy and procedures

Once you understand the hazards and risks associated with the type of driving your employees do, put some safety guidelines in place to deal with them. Set safe driving expectations and supervise employees to make sure they’re being met.

We recommend you use our winter driving safety policy and procedures (DOC 76 KB) and safe work procedure (PDF 165 KB) templates. They can be adapted to suit organizations of any size.

Review our Policies and Procedures Tool Kit to learn more.

Preparing drivers for winter

Drivers need to adjust their driving behaviours to be safe in the more challenging winter conditions. They may be rusty since they haven’t been on icy or snowy roads for a while. One way to find out if drivers have the skills they’ll need for driving this winter is to do ride-along driver assessments.

New and young workers need training and orientation. Even experienced drivers will benefit from a winter driving refresher session. Have them review our Driving for the Conditions Tool Kit and Practical BC Winter Driving Tips webinar. Use our tailgate meeting guides (PDF 2 MB) to emphasize key driving safety points. The guides cover 8 different topics, from winter tire specifications to driving in poor weather conditions.

Both you and your drivers need to feel you’re ready for the winter ahead. Make sure they:

  • Have completed appropriate driver training and demonstrate the necessary skills
  • Understand and follow your policies and procedures for keeping them safe (e.g., safe winter driving, check-in procedures, etc.)
  • Know how to physically and mentally prepare for winter driving
  • Know how and where to report winter driving hazards
  • Know how to decide when road conditions are unsafe, and what to do when they are
  • Have the necessary equipment (e.g., winter tires, vehicle emergency kit, etc.)
  • Know what to do in an emergency or if they become stranded

Preparing vehicles for winter

Winter takes a significant toll on vehicles. To help ensure your work vehicles perform safely and reliably in winter, take the following steps.

Ensure vehicles are fit for winter driving
Do a thorough pre-winter maintenance check
Install winter tires


Tool Kit

Winter Driving Safety Planning Tool Kit

Winter driving safety requires year-round planning and execution. It starts with preparing drivers and vehicles before winter arrives.

Winter Driving: What Employers Need to Know

Employers need to reduce the risks for their winter drivers. Use this guide to help understand legal requirements, trip planning, and how to prepare drivers and vehicles.

Winter Driving: What Supervisors Need to Know

Supervisors need to reduce the risks for their winter drivers. Use this guide to help understand your responsibilities, hazard identification, and vehicle and driver preparation.
Tool Kit

Driving for the Conditions

No matter how much experience you have, driving in snow, rain, fog, or icy conditions can be treacherous. Use our tips to help you and your passengers get home safe.

Shift into Winter: Practical BC Winter Driving Tips

Winter driving requires more planning, equipment, and patience. Apply these easy-to-follow tips when driving for work or personal reasons.

Winter Driving Policy and Procedures Template

Organizations of all sizes can benefit from having a winter driving policy. Customize this template to help keep your drivers safe.
Tailgate Meeting Guide

Winter Driving Safety Tailgate Meeting Guides

These tailgate meeting guides cover 8 different winter driving safety topics, from winter tire specifications to driving in poor weather conditions.

Winter Driving Safety Planning Calendar

Employers need to plan for winter driving before, during, and after the season. Use this calendar to keep your plans on track.
Online Course

Winter Driving Safety for Employers and Supervisors

Learn how to plan, implement, and monitor a winter driving safety program in your organization using Shift into Winter resources, including policy and procedures templates.
Tool Kit

Journey Management and Trip Planning

Driving for work may be one of the most dangerous things your employees do. Journey management can help reduce the risks.