Construction is an especially hazardous job, and safety should always be top-of-mind when working on a building site. The winter season, however, presents a wide array of hazards. As the weather gets colder and the snow begins to fall, there are a few additional safety precautions that can make work significantly safer. In this article, I’ll be describing some of the major hazards specific to winter construction and how to avoid them. If you or a loved one is injured on a job site, it is important to hold the responsible party accountable to ensure you can fully recover. Get in touch with a construction accident lawyer serving Northern New Jersey at Buttafuoco & Associates to discuss your case.
Slip and Falls: As the temperature falls, the chances of a slip and fall increase. A slip and fall on a job site can lead to an individual falling multiple stories, resulting in serious injuries. You’ll find patches of ice anywhere and everywhere on job sites, so be cautious and aware of your surroundings. It’s also important to properly identify any slick surfaces and warn supervisors and workers of the potential hazard. Other useful measures include ensuring that your boots have non-slip treads and clearing any ice or snow from an area before commencing work.
Driving Conditions: We’re all familiar with the way winter weather can create hazardous conditions for drivers. In fact, according to the most recent Federal Highway Administration reports, pavement conditions resulting from winter weather—including snow, sleet, and ice—accounted for 11% of vehicle crashes between 2007 and 2016. However, these issues don’t stop when you’re off the street and on the job site. Driving dangers are actually compounded on the unfinished roadways in areas under construction. To prevent these issues, be sure to clear snow and ice from areas and put down salt in areas where vehicles will be used. If you’ve been in a vehicle accident on a job site, one of our Northern New Jersey construction accident lawyers can help you better understand your rights and the damages you are entitled to.
Cold Stress: Even if you’re lucky enough to get clear blue skies and sunshine during your day at work, one of the biggest dangers when working outdoors during winter is the temperature. Anyone who spends extended periods of time out in the cold is at risk of the dangers of cold stress, including hypothermia, frostbite, and trench foot. If you’re working outside in cold temperatures, a construction accident attorney in Northern New Jersey will tell you that this is a potential safety hazard. Take preventative measures by dressing warmly, wearing waterproof boots, and making sure you cover the areas prone to frostbite, including the nose, ears, toes, cheeks, chin, and fingers.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: This may seem surprising because it’s not related to snow or falling temperatures, but winter conditions often lead us to use gas-powered tools more often, such as snow blowers, and if these tools are damaged or used unsafely in locations without air flow, the risk of poisoning increases sharply. At Buttafuoco & Associates, one of our practice areas involves exposure to toxic substances at the workplace, including carbon monoxide.
At Buttafuoco & Associates, we understand that many of these dangers aren’t unique to winter construction, but the winter weather certainly amplifies many of the hazards already inherent in the job. If you’ve been the victim of a construction accident from winter hazards, get in touch with us to work with a Northern New Jersey construction accident attorney on your case.
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