Today's dilema, while a bit mundane, illustrates the choices we have to make, while considering safety to ourselves and others.
Do I go to work today?
With the economy sputtering along, I was thrilled to have work scheduled this week. Then the storm hit.
Oh, it's not bad as storms go ... a couple inches of snow atop a film of ice, a town completely without snow removal equipment, a cloudy sky keeping the ice on the pavement ... and a truck that handles very, very poorly in slippery conditions.
At this instant, at 7 degrees, I'd probably get good traction. Give it a few hours to get up to 35, though ...
Yesterday was a day of continual accidents; the radio suggests today will be more of the same. It seems some of the fools made it through yesterday, and haven't had the fear of God scared into them ... yet.
Sure, lots of folks are muddling through. I am lucky enough to have a choice. I won't nelp anyone if I get in a wreck.
Given your description...I would do the same. The fools here in NJ are the causes (IMHO) of the accidents. A few inches of snow, or ice and the fools all come out. We have a 'mix' rain/sleet/snow, falling now, and I dread the ride home.
I'm a PoCo Faultsman, Weather does make your work difficult, but I've never had to stay home because of it. If people need their power put back on, you have to get out there and re-connect it. Having said that I have worked in some pretty atrocious conditions, rain, hail or snow. Maybe that is why they give us hard hats.
We have a fleet of 12 4WD faults trucks that are designed for driving in inclement weather, every vehicle in our fleet has snow chains in one of the lockers.
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green
Which only illustrates that other factors - like the critical nature of the work - enter the decision making process.
As luck would have it, no sooner had the weather cleared than I got a 'no heat' call. That is a lot more serious than the earlier scheduled job of adding a receptacle for a freezer. After all, it was in the single digits here.
Had I still been driving my prior truck, weather would not have been an issue. This monster is another story.
If this town had either road clearing gear, or drivers experienced in bad weather driving, my decision might have been different. As it it, IMO, you're better off sitting it out if you can. Here, the problem will be gone in a day - literally! Meanwhile, you can listen to the sirens and the traffic reports, as one fool drives into another.
And, of course, that's the final element in the process: other people. They can introduce either additional safety - or hazard. That's one reason I refuse to work with helpers who don't speak english: I don't want poor communication introduce additional hazards.
It all comes down to what you are equipped to do and what you can't. The POCO T/S'er is equipped for the harsh conditions while some sparkies bounce around in a 2WD pickup. If the weather is adnormal in you area and you driving skills are limited, you have to make a honest chice. For example you go out in slippery conditions and gent in a accident because you are slidilng all over the place, you will not be on the clock and you will have repair costs at least or worse, medical bills. It is the same conscience decision we make every morning when we get out of bed but do not realize.
I don't miss snow at all. We just got back from western Pa on a skiing trip and the snow was perfect, none anywhere but the man made snow on the hill. Now if they could have just made it 70f everywhere else ...
Snow jokes aside .... the exact same issues have to be considered every time you climb a ladder, or crawl an attic. Can you do it safely?
The answer may be affected by both the people and the conditions specific to one place and time.
A look at workplace accidents shows a peak in accidents after the person has been on the job two months. It has been speculated that this is because the new employee has become complacent, and is no longer considering the risks.