Goldstein, Heslop, Steele, Clapper, Oswalt & Smith

Colder weather may mean more hazards on construction sites

With the fall season well underway and winter just around the corner, many Pennsylvania workers already dread getting out in the cold to make their commutes to work. For individuals like you who work in construction, that dread likely also pertains to having to work outside in inclement weather and cold temperatures.

Not only does the weather present inconveniences, it can also result in more hazards existing on construction sites. You certainly do not want to become injured from a weather-related hazard that could have been taken care of before the accident occurred. In the event that you do suffer injuries on the job, you may need to look into your workers' compensation options.

Construction hazards

To do your best to avoid injuries, you may want to consider the following safety tips while working on a job site:

  • Remove any ice or snow from the work area.
  • Do not manually remove snow or ice if you have any risk factors for a potential heart attack, like diabetes or high cholesterol.
  • Watch out for slippery surfaces created after snow removal.
  • Check the site for hazards that may become worse in cold or freezing weather.
  • Make sure that any equipment used is designated for the temperatures and that equipment is warmed up as necessary.
  • Use proper personal protection equipment against the cold without limiting mobility or dexterity.
  • Avoid PPE that may cause traction issues or block vision.
  • Wear appropriate footwear to lessen the chance of slipping and falling.
  • Do not stay exposed to freezing temperatures for an extended period of time.
  • Take breaks in warm areas.
  • Work shorter shifts when possible.
  • Keep hand rails and walkways clear of snow and ice.

Though a best-case scenario would allow you to stay out of inclement weather, that is not always possible when you need to complete a construction project. Hopefully, your employer will take the time to ensure that worksites present as few hazards as possible and provide training on how to address potential risks of working in colder temperatures.

Workers' compensation

If you do suffer injuries in a work-related accident, whether due to weather conditions or other factors, you may face a number of struggles in the aftermath. From medical bills to lost wages, you could have to contend with various financial issues on top of your pain and suffering. Fortunately, workers' compensation may be able to help you address those financial troubles.

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