The job of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is to protect workers from dangers or hazards in the workplace. OSHA establishes many different guidelines, rules and requirements for employers in order to ensure that workers are as protected as possible. Unfortunately, OSHA cannot protect workers against nature. As such, winter creates many workplace hazards for workers’ across a variety of industries.
Our Boston injury attorneys want to ensure that workers’ and employers are aware of the areas where there is added risk in the wintertime. This is especially important for those who work on construction sites. The vast majority of construction, whether for public projects, roads and streets, residential buildings or commercial buildings, tends to take place outdoors. This means that construction workers’ may be impacted more than most by cold weather and winter snow, sleet or ice.
Winter Dangers That Affect Construction Workers
OSHA has outlined a number of potential winter risks faced by workers. While driving a vehicle is one of the key dangers on OSHA’s list, there are also some other potential workplace dangers that OSHA has identified that are likely to hit construction workers’ hard. For example, some of the potential risks that arise for construction workers in winter include:
- Driving accidents on dangerous or slippery roads. These accidents could happen when you are driving a construction vehicle, which could pose an especially great risk due to the size and weight of many of the machines used for construction
- Exhaustion from strenuous activity such as shoveling snow. You may need to clear a jobsite before you begin construction work, forcing you to pick up a snow shovel. Overexertion from using a snow shovel could put you in danger of a heart attack, muscle strain or other injuries.
- Back injuries or heart attacks as a result of snow removal efforts.
- Electrocution as a result of power lines that have fallen. Since a great deal of construction work takes place along streets or in well-populated commercial areas, there may be a high concentration of power lines on construction sites that could fall on or near workers.
- Roof collapses due to the weight of snow. Since construction sites may be unfinished buildings or older buildings with roofs that aren’t up to code, this is a very real concern for Boston construction workers during winter.
- Hypothermia and frostbite. Both of these problems can occur as a result of exposure to extreme cold for too long. Unfortunately, construction workers may be performing a great deal of their work outdoors or in unheated structures that haven’t yet been completed and that provide little protection from cold temperatures. Construction workers, therefore, can suffer from either hypothermia or frostbite as a result of being on cold construction sites.
These are just a few of the many potential winter hazards that construction workers face on the job. If an employee does suffer an injury from these or other winter workplace hazards, the employee may qualify for a workers’ compensation claim or may be able to identify a responsible defendant to sue for the injuries sustained.
If you or a loved one has suffered a construction injury in the Greater Boston area, contact the personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC for a free consultation to discuss your claim. Call 1-877-617-5333.