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Working in the Winter: Safety Tips from your Denver Workers’ Compensation Attorney


January 4, 2017

Working in the winter can be brutal, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors and dislike the cold. Frigid temperatures, snow and ice can make anyone more prone to accidents and injuries. It is your top priority to stay safe. Be sure to follow your company’s policies and be cautious at all times. Keep these top tips from your Denver workers’ compensation attorney in mind.

Layer up

Whether you are outside often, such as loading and unloading trucks, or your job is primarily outside—bundle up! Failure to do so can lead to hypothermia or frostbite. These conditions may occur when temperatures fall to the 30s and below. You’ll notice you are suffering from hyperthermia when starting to shake, lose balance and find it difficult to be alert and breathe. For frostbite, the skin may begin to harden or become numb. It can also blister or turn a light shade of gray. According to the Cold Stress Guide from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), employers must inform you of the serious effects of not preparing for the cold weather properly. They add that employers should provide certain tools and heaters that help those working in certain areas and provide enough breaks to allow workers to warm up. 

Safe Working Conditions

Snow and ice can make it easy to slip and fall. Employers should make sure working conditions are safe from these hazards. From outside sidewalks to outside exposed docks and receiving areas, they should be properly cleared and salted. Not only should this be done for employees, but anyone around the vicinity. Denver state law mandates that businesses must have areas cleared four hours after a snow event. Failure to do so can lead to legal actions or fines. Even when cleared, the ground is still wet. Signs should be placed in entryways and exits to warn people about wet floors. Employees who frequent these areas can invest in quality slip-resistant shoes to help avoid a fall.

Preparing for The Cold

There is more to preparing for the cold weather than just adding layers. You need to warm up, literally. Shoveling snow or working in the outdoor conditions can take a toll on your muscles. Prior to getting started, do a few stretches and warm up your muscles. This will help keep muscles at ease and help you from tensing up which can stay with you all day.  If you drive a vehicle for the job, let it warm up too. In addition to letting your vehicle warm up, make sure you are prepared for the road. Your work vehicle should be in premier shape with proper fluids, plenty of gas, tires with proper air pressure and all lights and functions working. If on the road for long durations of time, be sure you have a safety kit in case of emergency. This can include a scraper/brush, jumper cables, emergency lights or flares, water, layers (i.e. blankets and hand warmers), towing ropes, tire chains and a phone charger to recharge your cell phone in case of an emergency.

If you have an accident on the job, the law office of Mark A. Simon can help. Mark is your go-to workers’ compensation attorney. Check out these top OSHA violations from your Denver workers’ compensation attorney and keep Mark in mind for any future accidents. He will provide the best service and get you the settlement you deserve.