Tips for Preventing Weather-Related Workplace Injuries This Winter

Lever & Ecker, PLLC December 22, 2021 Construction Accidents

When the temperature drops, New Yorkers become vulnerable to weather-related accidents. Among some of the most at risk of winter weather exposure are those who work outdoors. First responders, construction workers, and snow cleanup crews are examples of jobs that require individuals to stay outside for extended periods. During the winter months, they are more likely to suffer severe injuries from weather-related hazards.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that in 2017 there were over 20,000 occupational injuries related to ice, sleet, and snow. While you may not be able to control where your job takes you or whether you work outside, both you and your employer should be particularly mindful of your safety during these months. However, if you do suffer a weather-related injury, contact an experienced workplace injury attorney as soon as possible.

How to Prevent Winter Weather-Related Workplace Injuries in New York

Those working outside during the winter months will need to take extra precautions to ensure their safety and health during the season. Some of the ways workers, with the assistance and guidance of their employers, can prevent winter weather-related workplace injuries include:

Follow Warmup Guidelines

The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) set work and warm-up guidelines for those working outside during the winter. These guidelines provide recommendations on the number of breaks workers should take in a four-hour shift based on air temperature and wind speed. For example, a worker should take a minimum of four 10-minute warm-up breaks in a four-hour shift if the temperature is between 25 and 29 degrees Fahrenheit with a wind speed of 10 miles per hour.

Dress for Cold Weather

Wearing appropriate, warm and protective clothing during the cold weather is critically important to worker safety. Employers can help by offering instruction on what to wear to reduce the likelihood of cold-related injuries. Keeping yourself safe and warm is vital to performing your job. However, your job position and what your tasks include may dictate the type of winter clothing you can wear. Take into consideration these factors and discuss them with your employer for a solution.

Stay Aware of Cold Stress

Cold stress is the body’s inability to warm itself, leading to serious cold-related illnesses and injuries. There are three types of cold stress, including frostbite, trench foot, and hypothermia. In order to prevent these injuries, workers should be aware of the following:

  • How to select proper clothing for cold, wet, and windy conditions
  • Environmental conditions that can lead to cold stress
  • Non-conditional risk factors that contribute to cold stress
  • Types of cold stress and their symptoms
  • First aid

Cold stress can lead to severe, life-threatening conditions if not taken seriously and treated properly. If you experience severe levels of cold stress, whether through the failure of your employer to protect you or for other reasons, talk with a workplace injury lawyer immediately.

Watch Out for Slippery Floors

Slip and fall injuries are some of the most common accidents in the wintertime. The ice and snow can make roads, walkways and outdoor work environments slippery, so organizations that work outside should have procedures in place to navigate these conditions. Clearing the snow and ice before performing tasks is crucial to preventing slip and fall accidents. There are also shoes made explicitly for preventing falls that can prove beneficial to your job.

If you slip and fall from unsafe conditions in the course of your work due to the negligence, or lack of care, by another by failing to maintain a safe environment, contact an experienced workplace injury attorney.

Contact an Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney Today

With over 60 years of combined experience, Lever & Ecker, PLLC’s lawyers have the resources and determination to protect clients’ rights. Workplace injuries are challenging and stressful, but with the help of a dependable lawyer, you can feel confident in your legal representation. Our goal is to guide you through a smooth and streamlined process so you can focus on your recovery.

To find out more about how our team can help your case, call (914) 288-9191 or (718) 933-3632 and fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation today.