Cold winter temperatures affect residents of the state of Pennsylvania in a variety of different ways. While for many, driving is the biggest issue, for other individuals their job is impacted. There are a variety of occupations that involve working outside year-round. People who suffer injuries from the elements may want to seek the help of experienced workers’ compensation attorneys who can advocate for workers who sustain injuries in extreme hot and cold conditions.
Since many who work in the outdoors do not have a choice as to whether or not they must endure various weather conditions, even when temperatures drop in the wintertime, the United States Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has created laminated cards with tips that employers can use to keep workers safe during these frigid months. Known as OSHA’s “Cold Stress Card,” it cards address not only injuries that could occur in the cold temperatures, but illnesses that can also arise.
Among other things, the card suggests that workers dress in layers and use a buddy system. It also addresses what workers should consume, indicating that warm, sugary drinks and high-calorie warm foods should be consumed. Workers should also be aware of what injuries and illnesses may occur due to the cold, as well as the symptoms that lead to these injuries For instance, fatigue, slurred speech, and clumsy movements are usually clear signs that someone may be in trouble.
While most people are aware that spending time in the cold is not a particularly enjoyable activity, some may not realize how dangerous it can be. As a result of prolonged exposure, a worker may suffer from hypothermia, frostbite, or trench foot. In the worst cases, exposure to extreme cold can lead to death.
Employers that do not take the steps necessary to educate their cold weather workers on the risks and symptoms could find that they are dealing with injured or ill workers. Workers who experience either of these as a result of tasks associated with their jobs may seek workers’ compensation benefits. If you have questions about a potential workers’ compensation claim, please call the personal injury lawyers at Dugan & Associates today for a free consultation at 412-922-0800.