On-the-job accidents can happen any time of year. However, there are certain winter-related hazards that workers should be looking for this season.
Every driver in Detroit knows that winter driving is very different from driving in other seasons. Streets and highways can be treacherous when the temperature drops below freezing and snow and ice cover the roadways.
Even when a motorist does everything they are supposed to when they are behind the wheel, they can still get into an accident caused by another person or Mother Nature.
Tripping or slipping
Just as icy, snowy roads can lead to accidents, so can icy, snowy walkways. Places where water accumulates and freezes can be dangerous, as can entryways where people track slush and snow in and out.
Workers can also slip if their boots are covered in snow. They could lose their grip and fall from a ladder, scaffolding or other structures. And snow equipment like shovels and winter gear can present a tripping hazard when left on the ground in places they shouldn’t be.
Some occupations put workers at risk of conditions like frostbite and hypothermia, which can lead to devastating injuries like nerve damage, chronic pain and even heart or lung system failure. Further, there can be a risk of severe burns and disfigurement when people use heaters, fire and other heat sources to stay warm.
Muscle pain and injuries
During the winter months, people can be shoveling and hauling heavy snow removal equipment. These actions can cause serious pain to a person’s back, shoulders or neck.
In fact, doing any physical activity outside in the cold can increase a person’s risk of muscle strains and sprains. The cold weather can make muscles contract and tighten, making it easier for a person to push their muscles beyond the normal range of motion.
When someone gets hurt or sick at work because of these hazards, workers’ compensation benefits can be available. This money can provide critical support for workers during a painful and stressful time.