Although winter weather may vary from year to year, Pennsylvania residents often face snow and ice storms during those months. Safety at work during winter conditions, including high winds and freezing temperatures, requires careful planning and attention to detail. All employers have the responsibility to maintain the workplace in such a way that the employees can use it with reasonable protection against on-the-job accidents, regardless of the weather.
Slipping, tripping and falling are all more common when the floors are wet or frozen, and both conditions are often found in the winter. There are also risks of diseases such as the common cold and extreme dangers such as hypothermia or frostbite for those who are required to work outdoors. Employers of those workers are advised to help ensure that they are dressed properly and remain properly hydrated.
There may also be more hazards from crowded work spaces in the winter. The heavy business of the winter shopping seasons leaves many work sites in disarray when more customers are present, increasing the risks of a workplace accident.
Employees who are injured while on the job may be eligible to file a claim for benefits under their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Most Pennsylvania employers are required to provide such protection to their employees. Benefits can include medical care and wage replacement. As the process is time-sensitive, many injured workers obtain the assistance of an attorney who has experience with these matters in ensuring that the claim is timely filed and that it includes the necessary medical and other documentation. Such an attorney can also be of assistance in a subsequent appeals hearing if the claim is disputed or denied.
Source: EHS Today, “Don’t Let Safety Get Snowed Under: 3 Workplace Dangers to Watch Out for This Winter”, Justin O’Sullivan, Dec. 8, 2015