The Midwestern states are certainly no strangers to severe weather. Whether it is extreme heat and humidity during the summers or the frozen conditions of an elongated winter, it is not uncommon for workers to have to brave the elements to complete a job well done.
Unfortunately, workers facing inclement weather might also face workplace injuries and dangerous health conditions. What can be done to prevent, avoid and minimize serious injuries while on the job?
Some accidents can't be avoided. Due to incorrect construction, faulty materials or poor workmanship, certain products or environments might fail causing serious injuries. There are certain tips, however, that should be adhered to, including:
- Wear appropriate clothing: Dressing warm - preferably in layers - is your primary defense against workplace injury and illness. Loose-fitting, layered clothing will not constrict circulation and help keep the extremities warm.
- Don't forget the extremities: As mentioned above, dressing warm is key to preventing hypothermia and frostbite. Frostbite, though, will likely attack the extremities first. Workers should wear thick socks and appropriate footwear as well as gloves, a hat and ear protection.
- Take breaks: Workers who take regular breaks can limit their exposure to dangerously low temperatures.
The biggest tip, realistically, is to plan ahead. Knowing the coming weather can help in planning which projects need to completed right now, and which projects can be moved to a warmer time. If you face harsh winter conditions, make sure to dress warm, stay hydrated and understand the early warning signs of frostbite.
Following a workplace injury, contact an experienced attorney to learn more about your options.