How To Reduce Winter Weather Related Work Accidents On Construction Sites
November 10, 2019
Construction-Related Injury Statistics
Working on a construction site carries with it a certain level of risk injury. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), one out of ten construction workers suffer a workplace injury every year. Fifteen percent of workers’ compensation insurance funds go towards paying claims in construction accidents, and over 20% of yearly on-the-job fatalities are suffered by construction workers. But the dangerous nature of these jobs are only amplified when winter brings hazardous weather to the job site. Here is a short guide to winter conditions on job sites and methods that can make these situations a little bit safer.
Slip And Falls On The Job
Slip and fall accidents are the most common on-the-job injuries reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. When winter weather hits, the likelihood of falls at work only goes up. To counteract these dangers, it is important that an employer have a safety plan that can be put into action quickly when snow and/or ice begins to affect the job site. Putting sand and salt on surfaces that will see high traffic before precipitation begins to fall can keep accumulation on walkways and other important places to a minimum. In addition, making sure that protocols are in place to help clear spaces with accumulation and slick surfaces can help prevent an accident from taking place.
Employers and owners of a construction site can take preventative measures to help avoid workers being injured on the job. Using these in conjunction with communicating safety tips to workers can keep them healthy. In addition to treating walkways and clearing ice and snow, splitting up loads to make them smaller can really help out both workers and machines, making it less likely that a person falls or that a truck or other vehicle slides on slick roads. Encouraging proper winter footwear with large treads and good grip can also help prevent slipping and falling. Wearing brightly colored vests and helmets is all the more important during winter weather when visibility can be reduced by snow in the air, as is marking any potential danger zones with barricades, cones, and other signs.
Other Winter Hazards To Be Aware Of
Other conditions that can have a big impact on a worker’s health are specifically related to the cold. Prolonged exposure to frigid temperatures can put someone into a state of hypothermia, where the body is losing heat faster than it can generate it. Tell your workers to keep a lookout for others displaying signs of drowsiness, confusion, a lack of balance and coordination, visible shivering or shaking, and unintelligible speech. Spotting someone suffering from the effects of hypothermia as soon as possible can make their recovery many times easier. Another cold-related danger is frostbite. This usually affects extremities like fingers, toes, and noses. If you notice any swelling, blistering, or discoloration of your skin along with numbness, you might have frostbite. If left untreated, severe frostbite can result in amputation and lengthy medical treatment. Having a plan in place to quickly treat workers that display symptoms of either frostbite or hypothermia can mean all the difference.
Contact A Workers’ Comp Lawyer to Discuss Your Construction Accident Today!
A workplace injury can be devastating, particularly if it prevents you from returning to work for an extended period of time. Although PA Workers’ Compensation laws are supposed to provide you with reimbursement for medical expenses and replacement pay for missed time at work, it is not always easy to get the Workers’ Comp benefits you deserve. That is why you should speak with a knowledgeable Workers’ Compensation lawyer about your situation and get guidance throughout the claims process. The skilled attorneys at Purchase, George, and Murphey P.C. represent clients throughout Pennsylvania, including Erie, Meadville, and Edinboro, Pennsylvania. Call 814-833-7100 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 2525 W 26th St., Erie, PA 16506, as well as offices at The Masonic Building 310 Chestnut St, Suite 111 Meadville, PA 16335 and at 68 East Main Street, North East, PA 16428.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.