During the winter months, there is an increase in the risk of work injuries. As temperatures drop, the severity of work injuries also increases. In the United States 2017 alone, work injuries totaled more than 20,000 (this comes to us courtesy of the BLS or Bureau Of Labor Statistics).
Winter workplace injuries are frequently the result of hazards such as the following:
- Ice falling from rooftops
- Cold stress
- Slippery conditions in work areas
- Driving on snow-covered surfaces
Winter hazards pose an increased risk of danger for outdoor workers including the following:
- Frostbite injuries
- Cold stress
What can business owners do in the workplace to try to reduce the risk of workplace injuries in winter?
Some work injuries can be avoided by increasing the awareness of your staff. Whether the employees work in an outdoor setting or in an office, falls and slips lead to many injuries in the workplace. They can happen while leaving the job, entering the job, or while on the job. Of all workplace injuries, approximately 20% end up being falls, trips, and slips.
To take it one step further, of all accidental deaths, 15% end up being because of falls and slips. According to OSHA (Occupational Safety And Health Administration), that’s secondary only to motor vehicle collisions.
Particular caution must be exercised by the following outdoor workers:
- Snow removal
- First response
Serious cold-related injuries and illnesses can be caused because of low temperature exposure on a frequent basis. Death or permanent tissue damage can result from injuries of this type.
Winter Conditions – Getting Ready
You can avoid many of the illnesses and injuries (courtesy of winter conditions) with the proper precautions, awareness, and preparation. As the owner of a business, you have a goal here: Create a culture in your workplace in which cold-related hazards in the workplace are not only identified but addressed.
With the entire staff, your ice and snow removal plan (from walking surfaces) should be discussed. Try reducing the periods of time your employees work outdoors when temperatures are freezing. To help with this endeavor, staff rotations should be fully taken advantage of. To avoid specifically caused injuries, here is a list of common tips and related hazards:
- Working outdoors – For any potential hazards, worksites should be evaluated, and a plan made as to how, in severe winter conditions, outside work can be executed safely.
- Walking on ice – Walk at a slower pace and take short steps. When working in winter conditions, and walking on ice and snow, wear proper footwear. To prevent falls, trips, and slips, immediately after a winter storm, clear walking surfaces of ice and snow. Add salt, too.
- Winter driving – All vehicles should have emergency kits, all vehicles should be fully inspected daily, winter weather safe driving training sessions should be offered, and the hazards of ice-covered, snowy roads should be addressed.
Turn to Corradino & Papa If You Have Been Injured in a Winter Work Accident
There are plenty of hazards in the workplace without adding the harsh conditions presented by freezing temperatures, ice, snow, etc. typical of winter in some areas. New Jersey is no exception. We can do winter just as completely as some of those boasted about by Midwesterners!
Unfortunately, that means working conditions are going to be a little more hazardous, and the risks are a little higher. If you are injured in a winter working accident, don’t wait another moment to contact the knowledgeable, experienced legal team at Corradino & Papa. We will do everything in our power to help you get the compensation you’re entitled to.
If you have been injured, let us do all the heavy lifting while you just worry about getting well.
Fill out our convenient online form to book a free consultation at no obligation to you.