Construction work is risky, even in perfect weather. Intense physical demands, use of heavy machinery and equipment, and use of chemicals are just some of the ways this career puts construction workers in harm’s way. When cold weather, ice, and snow are added into the mix, the dangers pile up.
New York construction accident attorney Reid B. Wissner has over three decades of experience helping injury victims, including construction accident victims. He understands the incredible stress a worker suffers when injured on the job, facing extensive rehabilitation, and missing work. Mr. Wissner takes these cases on a contingent fee basis, which means he doesn’t get paid unless he achieves a favorable outcome for you.
Extended exposure to low temperatures while working outside puts you at risk of cold-related injuries. Some of the associated construction site risks include:
- Hypothermia – Hypothermia results when your body temperature dips below 95 degrees Fahrenheit. This occurs in cold temperatures when you are losing heat faster than the body can produce heat.
- Trench foot – Trench foot is caused by prolonged exposure to wet conditions. This condition can cause numbness, tingling, blisters, and pain.
- Frostbite – Cold temperatures can freeze your skin and the tissue beneath it. This condition commonly affects the face and extremities, such as your fingers and toes.
- Loss of dexterity - Cold temperatures can affect your dexterity and grip strength, increasing the risk of injury when using tools, climbing ladders, and carrying objects.
- Muscle damage - A cold body also puts you at increased risk of muscle damage. Cold temperatures cause muscles to stiffen, making heavy lifting and intense physical activity all the more risky.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Falls are a leading cause of construction worker deaths, accounting for nearly 60 percent of fatal construction worker accidents. Debris, scaffolds, ladders, machinery, and power cords are just a few of the reasons a construction site invites slip and fall accidents.
The addition of ice, snow, and wet conditions means significant additional fall risk for construction workers. When you combine slippery conditions, working from a height, and decreased dexterity due to cold temperatures, you have a recipe for serious injuries.
Tips for Avoiding Winter Construction Site Accidents
While not every accident can be prevented, there are several things you can do to decrease your risk of a cold-related injury.
Wear appropriate clothing
- Proper footwear can prevent many slips and falls.
- Waterproof footwear prevents trench foot.
- Dress in layers to keep your body temperature from falling.
- Make sure your gloves are lined and fit well to allow for proper grip and dexterity.
- A hard hat liner works to trap heat and keep you warm.
- A full face liner helps protect your nose and cheeks from frostbite.
Watch your Step
Step carefully and slow down when there’s snow and ice on the ground. Remember that snow can mask ice and conceal cords, equipment, and materials that could cause you to trip and fall.
Frequent breaks to warm up and hydrate can prevent injuries related to dehydration, hypothermia, frostbite, and loss of dexterity and grip strength.
Call for a Free Consultation
If you are injured on a construction site this winter, attorney Reid B. Wissner can help you fight for fair compensation. Mr. Wissner is experienced at standing up to those who want to limit or deny your benefits. Call 212-406-9288 to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients in The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and New York City.