New York is often subject to extreme winter weather. Even in mild years, freezing precipitation and slushy roads can inconvenience and even endanger workers around the state.
Whether you drive for a living or do part of your job responsibilities outside, you could be at elevated risk for an injury on the job during the winter months. If you and your employer don’t take steps to address seasonal changes, the results could very well be a significant injury and a worker’s compensation claim.
Workers are more likely to fall during the winter months
Freezing winter weather causes all kinds of risks. Obviously, ice and snow can make a driveway, sidewalk or parking lot dangerous to cross. Additionally, the snowmelt that accumulates inside an entrance or foyer can lead to a slip-and-fall incident.
Some of these falls can result in severe injury, as little more than luck often dictates how badly injured someone is when they fall. Your momentum, the area around you and even the clothing you have on will all influence the severity of the injuries you suffer.
Cold weather can lead to risk for outdoor workers
When temperatures get close to freezing, workers who are outdoors have to think about the risk they have for frostbite and similar cold-related health issues. Employers can reduce these risks by alternating jobs outside, providing warming stations and even ending outside responsibilities on days when weather is severe.
Vehicles and equipment issues can also be a risk
Whether you drive a commercial truck for a big transportation company or you operate a forklift on a loading dock, winter weather could lead to friction problems and other issues for machinery and vehicles that increase the risk of crashes.
Overall, the statistics make it clear that the winter months usually involve an uptick in worker injuries and an increase in workers’ compensation claims.