Winter is officially here, which means it is a great time for construction workers and their employers to brush up on winter safety best practices. Construction workers and those who work outdoors are constantly faced with weather-related hazards that can lead to severe construction accidents. Awareness can go a long way in minimizing these risks. Here are a few winter construction site injuries and how to prevent them:
Just as workers can suffer from heat stress during the summer, cold stress is also common during the winter. Temperatures below or near freezing can cause the body’s temperature to fall. When the body cannot warm itself, workers can suffer serious injuries to their tissues. In the worst of cases, death can occur.
To help avoid cold stress, remember to:
- Dress warmly, and if you are expected to be working in wet conditions, wear water repellant clothes.
- Stay hydrated and drink hot beverages or soup.
- Train workers to understand cold stress signs and symptoms such as shivering, slurred speech and confusion.
Falls on Ice
Falls are the most common construction site accidents. Ice and snow can increase the risks of slip and fall accidents on the worksite and the severity of injuries. Injuries common with this kind of accident include broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, severe lacerations, spinal cord injuries, etc. Stay safe by removing snow and ice from the worksite before you start working. Other preventive measures include:
- Using handrails on stairs
- Not using ladders in soggy or icy ground
- Walking at a slow pace on icy or snow-covered surfaces
Workers tasked with the removal of snow and ice from rooftops and other building structures are faced with various risks. If the worker is using a ladder, the ladder could fall, causing the worker to be badly injured. In order to help stay safe, workers should use a long-handled rake to scrape ice off from rooftops or other elevated surfaces. If workers must use a ladder, they should make sure that the ladder is in good condition and not kept on a slippery surface.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide poisoning is not a common construction health hazard, but it is very deadly. Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas that is produced from the combustion of carbon-based substances. When gas-powered tools are used in enclosed spaces, it produces carbon monoxide, which when inhaled builds up in the bloodstream and displaces oxygen. This can result in neurological damage, coma, illnesses, and death. Employers should always provide construction workers with personal carbon monoxide monitors and use gas-powered tools outdoors and at a safe distance.
Winter Driving Accidents
On a construction site, it can be easy to forget safety rules for winter driving. These accidents can be prevented by properly inspecting vehicles before use. Employers should also make sure that all employees are trained about operating machinery and driving vehicles in harsh weather conditions.
Contact a Pittsburgh Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Construction Accident Case in Pennsylvania
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a construction accident in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at the Law Office of Mark A. Smith represents clients injured because of construction accidents in Pittsburgh, Homestead, Erie, Greensburg, and throughout Pennsylvania. Call (412) 368-8398 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 355 Fifth Avenue, The Park Building, Suite 205, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.