Any outdoor workers are at high risk of suffering frostbite and other cold stress injuries in winter weather. However, construction employees face a combination of hazards that can turn deadly when temperatures drop below freezing.
How Cold Temperatures Lead to Construction Injuries
If you were hurt while working in cold weather, there is a good chance that your construction site accident was caused by negligence. Employers have a duty to follow proper safety measures for work performed in the cold, particularly when it comes to:
- Slippery surfaces. Hail, ice, snow, and mud can make it difficult for workers to get traction on metal ladders, beams, and lifts. A slip at ground level can result in head and back injuries, but a fall from slick scaffolding will often result in a fatal construction accident.
- Numb fingers. Without adequate gloves and rest breaks to warm up, workers may lose their grip on tools and building materials, dropping heavy loads on their feet or striking workers below.
- Jammed equipment. Equipment on tires or tracks can freeze in place, causing injuries as workers attempt to free machines from the frozen ground. Slippery conditions can also make it harder to control forklifts, while cranes are more likely to collapse in high winds.
- Electrocution. Winter storms can bring down trees and overhead power lines, exposing workers to electrical shock. Cold weather can also cause batteries in trucks and heavy equipment to freeze—and attempting to jump-start a frozen battery can result in an explosion.
If you or someone you love has been injured on the job, our construction injury lawyers can help you get the compensation you are owed—and we do not collect any fees until after your case is won. Simply fill out our quick online contact form or call (800) 362-9329 to speak with a lawyer at Hofmann & Schweitzer today, or learn more about your rights in our FREE brochure, Hurt in a Construction Accident? You’re Not Alone.