Avoiding Cold Weather Work Hazards

Author: Auger Law | November 1st, 2017

man shoveling snow on sidewalkIt’s always a good time to remind yourself of safe habits before you need them. This includes winter workplace safety tips. Before the cold weather sets in, it’s important to know how to protect yourself and, if you are a business owner, protect your employees. Read on for the most common winter weather dangers in the workplace, and how to prevent many of the accidents that could result.

1. Slips and Falls

Slips and falls during the cold weather can happen quickly. Avoiding slips and falls can be done if people are careful. Employers and employees should both be on the lookout for hazards and remove them when noticed. Keep all walkways and stairways clear, and shovel outdoor areas.

If working outside, wear appropriate footwear and make sure walkways are salted. Make yourself more visible by wearing bright or reflective clothing. Don’t carry loads that are so large that they inhibit your sight or your balance.

2. Frostbite

Know the warning signs of frostbite. Skin that is hard, pale and numb is a problem. If you notice stiffness setting into joints or muscles or even blisters and swelling, you need medical attention. Keep the affected body parts elevated and move to a warm area. Avoid heating the area too quickly, because this can case permanent damage.

3. Hypothermia

Hypothermia is indicated if there is uncontrollable shivering or shaking. A lack of coordination and confusion can also occur. Slurred speech is also indicative of hypothermia. Again, the victim should be moved to a warm area and additionally covered with blankets. Medical attention is warranted in any case of suspected hypothermia.

4. Inspections

Daily inspections should take place in the event of adverse weather. Employers should make sure that work areas are free of snow and ice. Employers should also make sure that employees are dressed properly and have taken precautions for working in cold weather. If an employer does not have time to conduct these safety inspections on their own, a worker should be given the responsibility.

A workplace injury can happen during any season, but winter provides a unique set of hazards, especially in snow and ice and for outdoor workers. Whether you are an employee or in charge of a work force, it is up to each individual to ensure that not only the workplace is safe, but that safety protocols are being followed by everyone.

If you are injured in the workplace in Charlotte, you have rights. Do not assume that an accident is just an accident. You have the right to be heard, and you have the right to compensation. Reach out to our experienced team of workplace injury attorneys today for assistance. We will review your incident with you at no cost and advise you of your legal options. Call today to schedule your case evaluation and let us help you make decisions appropriate for your situation.

Posted In: Workers' Compensation