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  • 11 Jan 2013 10:52 PM | Deleted user

    I found the following article and thought it was important to pass it on.

    Watch What You Eat on Snow-Plowing Nights

    Road crews often battle snow and sleet throughout the night, but usually for only a night or two. That means they are also battling sleepiness since their bodies are adjusted to the usual daytime shift. Sleepiness can be dangerous. At least 10,000 accidental deaths a year are sleep-related and 200,000 traffic accidents annually are due to driver fatigue.

    Recent research on sleep deprivation shows that what you eat before and during nighttime work can affect sleepiness. Since the body slows down at night, it does not want to digest a donut, a "Big Mac," or most other fast foods. Greasy, heavy, protein foods bring on sleep according to information in The Shiftworker's Handbook.

    Drivers can still enjoy eating, though. Take light, well-balanced meals and eat snacks that are compatible with slower, nighttime digestion.

    • Main meal before night work (5:00-7:00 pm) Eat light protein foods like chicken, turkey, fish, or cooked beans and peas. Vegetables, fruit, breads, pasta and potatoes are good, as are low-fat milk, cheeses, and yogurt. If you're planning to sleep before work, make this a lighter and smaller meal.
    • Meals during breaks Eat soup and salad, soup and a light sandwich, or light protein foods and vegetables.
    • Snacks before and during work Good snacks include low-fat dairy products, fresh and dried fruit, popcorn, cereal, plain cookies, pretzels, and baked crackers.
    • Avoid caffeine and nicotine Coffee and tea contain caffeine; smoking and chewing tobacco contain nicotine. These are stimulants at first but soon become depressants. They make the heart beat slower.
    • Do not consume alcohol before or during snow plowing operations

    ([Food information] [a]dapted from Road Business, Fall 1994, University of new Hampshire T2 Center. The Shiftworker's Handbook is by Marty Klein, Ph.D., SynchroTech, Lincoln, Nebraska.)


    Please stay safe out there!

  • 30 Dec 2012 4:16 PM | Deleted user
    Today the Smart About Salt Council launched its Online Forum to provide a place where members and discuss topics of mutual interest or seek information from their colleagues. We hope that it will help to accelerate the rate of adoption of best practices. To join the discussion simply go to the FORUMS page and either start a topic of join one already in progress.  
  • 22 Dec 2012 11:44 AM | Deleted user
    December saw the launch of the Smart About Salt Audit program. This program is intended to visit Smart About Salt Certified Companies to assess the degree of compliance with the SAS Program requirements. The initial 6 companies were selected to test the program and get feedback on improvements to the program before it is expanded. The general feedback was positive. In fact several audited companies thanked the Council for selecting them for the audit. Clearly these companies are committed to being top in their industry and valued the review and comments that the Audit provides. "The Audit should not raise any surprises" says Bob Hodgins, SASC's Executive Director. "We are simply confirming the information that the companies have reported in the Annual Reports that they file." The first six companies passed with flying colours. The SAS Auditors are experience in winter maintenance practices and bring a positive helpful approach to the Audits. "Our clientele expect us to enforce our standards", says Hodgins. "We also expect that everyone in the Smart About Salt Program is applying best practices consistent with the program goals." Look for more audits in the new year.
  • 22 Dec 2012 11:38 AM | Deleted user
    On December 12th, Bob Hodgins, Executive Director, Smart About Salt Council and one of the Council Board members, Tony DiGiovanni, Executive Director, Landscape Ontario presented the Smart About Salt Program to Gord Miller, Ontario's Environment Commissioner. Commissioner Miller has been an outspoken supporter of improved salt management as an important tool to protect Ontario's environment. Commissioner Miller provides some important advice and leads on how the program could be further promoted within the Provincial Government. These leads have been followed up and further meetings with government officials have been scheduled for the new year.
  • 22 Dec 2012 11:30 AM | Deleted user

    In November, the Smart About Salt Council hosted a delegation from the Henan Provincial Salt Administration Bureau. The six person delegation heard of our program from the Canadian Department of External Affairs. Bob Hodgins, Executive Director, Smart About Salt made a presentation about Canada's efforts to reduce the environmental effects of salt and how the Smart About Salt program is contributing to efforts to improve salt management by municipalities and private companies.

  • 22 Nov 2012 9:27 AM | Deleted user
    The Netherlands are experimenting with glow in the dark, temperature sensitive paint that will illuminate snowflakes on the road when the pavement reaches a temperature that could cause slippery conditions. You can view the story at this link. What will they think of next?
  • 30 Aug 2012 5:16 PM | Deleted user
    The Smart About Salt Council is pleased to have received financial support from Environment Canada under its EcoAction Program. The grant will be used to implement the Smart About Salt program which is dedicated to reducing the environmental effects of road salts used on roads, parking lots, and sidewalks. Bob Hodgins, Executive Director of the Smart About Salt Program says that this funding will go a long way to increase our training and outreach programs and our ability to bring more people into the program.
  • 09 May 2012 10:29 PM | Deleted user
    The Smart About Salt Council announced its sponsorship program today. Many suppliers of winter maintenance materials and equipment have asked about how they can support the Smart About Salt Program. In response to these inquiries the Council has established a program that allows organizations to sponsor the program and include the Smart About Salt Sponsor logo in their promotional materials. "The sponsors will be highlighted on our website and at trade shows and training sessions" says Bob Hodgins, Executive Director, Smart About Salt Council. "These generous donations will help to expand the SAS program and provide ongoing services to our members", Hodgins says. For more information on how to become a sponsor, visit our "Become a Sponsor" webpage.
  • 17 Apr 2012 3:13 PM | Deleted user

    On April 11th, 2012 Environment Canada released its long awaited review of the progress on the effectiveness of its Code of Practice for the Environmental Management of Road Salts published in 2004. The report is available at this link.

    Although the Code of Practice deals predominantly with road-related salt use, the Five-Year Review comments on the importance of addressing road salts used in other locations - including parking lots and sidewalks.

    The report states- "The results obtained in the first five years of the Code are encouraging. Reporting was generally good, and the level of adoption of the Code by road organizations was high. Environment Canada will continue to promote the Code and encourage all road organizations to adopt it and to report consistently on their efforts."

    The report makes reference to studies that show that the effective application of best winter maintenance practices has resulted in reduction of salt use by up to 45% in some areas and as high as 50% reduction in long-term chloride concentrations in groundwater.

    The report also shows that, since 2001, total roadway injuries and fatalities have not increased as a result of salt reduction despite increased motor vehicle registrations and vehicle-kilometres traveled.

    Despite the progress that has been made the report concludes that "chloride loadings remain a concern for heavily urbanized areas that have hight road densities, and large ares of public and private parking lots and sidewalks." Furthermore it states "that some site-specific situations may exist, where road salts used for private and institutional winter maintenance may be contributing significantly to the accumulation of chlorides in the environment."

    The Smart About Salt Council continues to foster effective salt management on parking lots and sidewalks to reduce the impacts that excessive use of road salts is having on the environment.

  • 30 Mar 2012 11:35 AM | Deleted user
    A bill has been introduced in the State of New Hampshire legislature to limit the liability of landowners and salt applicators who opt for certification and employ winter maintenance best practices. The text of the Bill can be viewed at this link. .

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