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NSSGA Podcast

Dec 2, 2021

Libby Pritchard, Director of Construction Materials Safety Policy at NSSGA, is back once more with another crucial and instructive story of workplace safety. This time around, she focuses on the need to exercise safety protocols according to the environment, particularly navigating the dangers that can arise while driving in winter weather. Drawing upon her own harrowing experience and the lessons learned, Libby’s tale here today is a sobering one with a critical message and advice for absolutely everyone to heed.


Episode Highlights


  •   We need to be wary of winter weather because it can make the roads we travel dangerous
  •   Snow, sleet, hail, rain, and unseen black ice contribute to the danger
  •   Libby’s story takes place during a 5-hour drive home with a co-worker one November night
  •   While there was no snow or rain that night, they hit a patch of black ice and ended up flipped over in a ditch
  •   This experience led them to ensure that all company vehicles were equipped with emergency kits
  •   It also led Libby to learn how to react to driving on black ice, and inspired her to become an active safety advocate
  •   Her safety recommendations in such situations include:

o   Stay calm

o   Keep the steering wheel straight

o   Do not hit the brakes

o   Do as little as possible and let the car pass over the ice

o   Slow down by decelerating or shifting into a lower gear

o   Head for an area of traction

o   Avoid driving in inclement weather at all


Toolbox Talk Discussion Questions


  • What can you do to take precautions when you're driving, whether for work or for personal travel?
  • What is one small thing the company could do to raise awareness about car safety?
  • Does anyone have a story about car safety they’d like to share?



“You always have to be aware of environmental hazards depending on where you live and work.”


“Even in a climate controlled cab, you still need to be wary of winter weather because it can make the roads you travel dangerous.”


“My coworker and I were both miraculously okay, but we were also stuck hanging upside down and unable to get our seatbelts undone because they were so tight after the crash.”


“The general rule of thumb is to do as little as possible and let the car pass over the ice.”


“For driving in any kind of inclement weather you want to remember to slow down or better yet, avoid driving in inclement weather at all and read up on the local weather reports before you hit the road.”




National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association website