Some job-related risks are consistent throughout the year. There could be a machinery malfunction in a factory at any time, just as there could be a fire in a commercial kitchen with little warning in any season.
However, there are some risks that ebb and flow throughout the year. Adjusting your work habits to account for the biggest risks during the winter season could help you stay safer, especially if you find yourself outside in inclement winter weather.
The winter has cold temperatures and freezing precipitation, which most people in New Jersey have long since learned how to handle. However, winter weather inevitably causes unique safety concerns for workers in many different professions. What kind of job risks increase during the winter months?
The number one most common workplace safety issue associated with winter weather is the slip and fall injury. Workers walking across an icy parking lot or performing their job in an outdoor space might fall and potentially break a bone or suffer a traumatic brain injury. Melting snow and ice inside buildings can also lead to people falling and getting hurt.
Weather-related car crashes
Motor vehicle collisions are a leading source of worker injury and death, and frigid winter weather only increases that risk. Delivery drivers and others out on the road while working in snowy, icy or windy conditions could very well end up hurt in a crash.
Those who work in outdoor environments, such as construction professionals, are at elevated risk for exposure-related injuries like frostbite. They could develop chilblains, trench foot or hypothermia. These conditions may drop their body temperatures dangerously low or put them at risk of injury to their extremities.
Being outside in freezing weather can cause a lot of stress on the body, especially if employers fail to provide accommodations like frequent breaks or warming stations. There are certainly many other injuries and also illnesses that may pose a more significant risk to workers during the winter months.
Workers who end up hurt because of winter weather may have medical bills and also lost wages to address. Filing a workers’ compensation claim can help those hurt in an unexpected incident at work, whether it is a blizzard-related car crash or a parking lot slip-and-fall.