Keeping workers safe in cold temperatures
Each day individuals throughout the state of Ohio set off to work. Some of the jobs residents go to involve working outside. While during some times of the year this may be considered a perk, when cold temperatures set in during the winter, it can be dangerous.
Cold weather injuries can be serious
Workers who are not given the opportunity and knowledge to adequately protect themselves in cold temperatures, can be at risk for a variety of injuries. In addition to frostbite, hypothermia, and trench foot, in some cases extremely cold working environments have led to death, as well.
Employers can help protect workers
When employers are aware of the environmental risks their employees face, they are much better prepared to mitigate those risks. While that doesn’t guarantee that a worker will never be hurt, it does reduce the chances of serious injury. Some ways to reduce the risk of harm to employees who work in cold environments include:
- Recognizing that the environment could be harmful
- Learning what symptoms are seen with illnesses caused by cold weather
- Ensuring that workers are knowledgeable and dressed appropriately
- Requiring workers to take frequent breaks to warm up
- Suggesting that workers eat warm food to help them tolerate the cold weather
- Understanding that exhaustion can easily occur while working in cold weather
- Being aware of workers’ medical conditions and other risk factors.
Workers’ compensation claims
If you work in a cold environment and have been injured, you may have a claim for workers’ compensation. Working with an attorney who is well-versed in that area of law can help you determine what options you have, and what your next step should be.