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Winter Brings a New Set of Work Injury Risks

Mark E. Moreland, Attorney at Law Jan. 16, 2020

There is no denying the brutality of the winter months in the northern regions of the country. With snow already on the ground in parts of Illinois and Missouri, and more winter weather in the forecast, you may be taking precautions to keep your home and family safe and warm.

Is anyone looking out for your well-being at work? Winter places many workers at risk of illnesses and injuries that are preventable by taking certain precautions. If your job places you at risk of exposure to the dangers of winter weather, you may want to discuss with your employer the most effective ways to guard against those risks.

Common Winter Hazards

You may not even think about the dangers when the temperature drops or the snow falls. You do what your employer expects of you and try to stay warm the best way you can. However, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration warns employers to ensure their workers have the protections they need to avoid any of the following injuries in winter weather:

  • Frostbite

  • Trench foot if your feet stay wet for too long

  • Hypothermia

  • Overexertion, especially when shoveling snow

  • Injuries such as electrocution, and serious wounds from powered equipment such as snow blowers

Appropriate clothing, moving around, staying awake and watching out for your fellow employees may be sufficient to protect against some of these, but there are other dangers to look out for. Slipping on wet or icy surfaces on the job can result in broken bones or head injuries that can leave you with a long, painful recovery. Winter weather also means treacherous travel, so if your job includes driving, it is important that your vehicle is properly equipped, and that you have the training and experience necessary to travel safely.

What Happens if I Receive an Injury on The Job?

If you do suffer a work-related injury during the winter months, you will want to be careful to follow the necessary steps for seeking benefits through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. This includes reporting your injury promptly, filing the appropriate documents and following medical advice. However, even these steps may not guarantee you will receive the benefits you need and deserve.

This is why many injured employees reach out for assistance from a skilled attorney who dedicated to helping workers obtain the benefits that will help them recover quickly and return to work as soon as possible.