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Winter Construction Accidents to Watch out for

Construction worker going up the stairs.

Let’s face it. Working construction can be dangerous under the best of conditions. Toss in those harsh winter hazards New York can throw your way and construction workers are at an even greater risk for sustaining severe injuries while on the job. To help keep everyone as safe as possible on construction sites this winter, let’s review some of the most prominent winter construction hazards and how these hazards can be minimized.

Winter Construction Accidents

Rain, snow, sleet, freezing temperatures. Construction does not stop for any of it. Through the seasons, construction workers can be found out on the job, braving the elements to meet deadlines. Employers have a responsibility to minimize risks on a construction site and this includes those risks that role through in the winter months. Knowing about some of the most common causes of winter construction accidents and taking steps to prepare for and address them when they arise can greatly decrease the risk of accident for outdoor construction workers.

While we never really know what a New York winter will have in store for us, there are certain common winter weather hazards that we can probably count on arising at some point. When they do, they can lead to serious accidents and injuries for construction workers. Take, for instance, snowfall. Yes, falling snow can truly be magical, but maybe not so much if you are stuck outside working construction in the cold and wet conditions. Not only can snow be generally unpleasant for construction workers, it can also pose serious dangers. Snow build up can turn icy and slippery all too quickly. Prompt snow removal is key to keeping everyone safe, but it also presents hazards in and of itself. Incorrectly removing snow can lead to devastating injuries. Removing heavy snow can lead to eye injuries, injuries requiring amputation, and a variety of snowblower accidents, such as when they tip over or back over someone, can lead to all manner of injuries as well. Having a reliable plan for snow removal is key to keeping workers safe and injury free.

Ice on a construction site can prove fatal to workers. This is not an exaggeration. The prompt removal of ice is necessary to keep workers safe. While ice is present on the worksite, prior to removal, workers should take extra care such as taking short steps when walking in these conditions. Handrails on stairs should be used. Icy ladders should be avoided at all costs. Fall protection on elevated platforms and scaffolding is essential. Work boots with good traction and gloves with good traction should also be worn at all times.

In addition to the ice and snow, the cold itself can be dangerous to outdoor construction workers in the New York winter months. The human body is not built to withstand extreme cold indefinitely and without being protected. Dress accordingly. OSHA reports that three of the most common injuries sustained due to cold stress include:

  • Frostbite
  • Hypothermia
  • Immersion or trench foot

Personal Injury Attorney

Attorney Michael LoGiudice provides dedicated representation to construction workers injured in winter and all other seasons. Contact us today.

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