Pennsylvania is experiencing an especially brutal winter. Nonetheless, there are many construction projects still ongoing. These usually have tight deadlines, which means work must continue even in harsh weather conditions.
For workers, this can present numerous safety hazards. What types of injury risks do construction workers face in cold weather?
Slips and falls
Slips and falls are a risk for construction workers at any time of year. However, in cold temperatures, this risk is heightened. On construction sites where the ground has frozen over, workers need to be very careful. Employers should take steps to clear the frozen areas. Workers should also be provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) such as safety boots with a strong grip.
Vehicles are used regularly on construction sites, and they tend to be heavy duty vehicles. This means that they take longer to stop even in optimal conditions, let alone when the roadways are full of ice and snow.
Drivers of vehicles delivering heavy goods need to ensure that they maintain the appropriate speeds and do not park on ground that is uneven or on a slope. In icy conditions, a heavy vehicle that’s parked on a slope can slide into workers and cause serious injuries.
Frostbite occurs when construction workers are exposed to cold temperatures for sustained periods. This condition usually affects the hands and feet, but it can hit any body part that is exposed to the cold. PPE can help to reduce the risk somewhat, but workers shouldn’t be forced to continue in conditions that are unsafe.
If you have been hurt on the job, then you are likely entitled to workers’ compensation. This can help you with medical bills on your road to recovery. If you have trouble getting the benefits to which you’re entitled, having legal guidance can help.