Serious construction accidents and construction work injuries in Syracuse can happen at any time of the day and any time of the year on a construction site. However, certain times of the year pose particular hazards to construction workers. As you may know, the summer months can be brutal due to high temperature and intense sun, resulting in a higher risk of heat-related illness and injury for construction workers. At the same time, the winter months can also pose various types of risks, and it is critical for construction workers to know about their rights when it comes to wintertime safety on construction sites. Construction workers have a right to safe work conditions at all times of the year and taking into account changes in temperature and weather patterns. What do you need to know about winter construction work injuries in Syracuse? Consider some of the following information from our Syracuse construction accident attorneys.
Winter Hazards on Construction Sites
Given that construction workers in Syracuse spend a significant amount of time working outdoors, and often with exposure to the elements, they can be exposed to various types of winter worksite hazards. According to OSHA, some of the most common injury risks on construction sites in Syracuse include but are not limited to the following:
- Slipping and falling on icy walkways or other icy surfaces;
- Skidding or motor vehicle or equipment collisions due to black ice on the construction site;
- Falling from heights, especially from roofs and scaffolding, as a result of ice and other slick conditions;
- Frostbite from being exposed to cold temperatures outdoors;
- Injuries caused by difficult handling of tools due to a loss of dexterity from the cold weather (which can result in stiff hands and fingers);
- Injuries caused by distraction from the cold weather (being uncomfortable in very cold temperatures can affect a construction worker’s ability to focus and to remain alert); and
Preventing Cold Weather Injuries on Syracuse Construction Sites
If you work on a construction site in the winter in Syracuse, it is important to know that your employer is required to provide certain safety elements to prevent injuries linked to winter weather conditions. OSHA cites the following as just some of the safety steps that are important to prevent cold weather-related injuries on construction sites and other outdoor job sites during the winter months:
- Training employees to recognize the signs of cold stress and ensuring that they come inside and seek appropriate care when necessary (signs or symptoms may include skin that reddens or tingles, pain or swelling in parts of the body, cramps in the legs, any feeling of numbness, and cold-related blisters);
- Employees should have proper clothing and safety gear for working in cold temperatures, and they should wear at least three clothing layers that are loose-fitting in addition to winter gloves and boots, and a winter hat;
- Employees should be trained to monitor their own physical conditions and to be aware of the physical conditions of other workers on the job;
- Employees should be encouraged to report any concerns about their own safety due to cold stress or about the safety of other workers to a supervisor or employer;
- Construction workers should take steps to stay dry, which may require limiting or stopping work during snow or sleet, or ensuring that workers have appropriate changes of clothing to remain dry and warm;
- Employees should be permitted frequent breaks from outdoor work in areas that are warm and dry;
- Employees should have warm liquids available for drinking; and
- Construction site areas should be assessed for slipping risks caused by ice or snow, and appropriate precautions should be taken (which may even involve delaying or limiting work when conditions cannot be effectively improved).
Seek Advice from a Syracuse Construction Accident Attorney
Construction accidents and injuries can occur at construction sites throughout the year in Syracuse, but there are particular hazards that arise during winter months in New York. It is critical to understand how winter construction injuries happen and what you can do in order to seek compensation. In addition to workers’ compensation coverage through the New York workers’ compensation system, you may be eligible to seek additional compensation by filing a negligence claim against your employer under New York Labor Law, or by filing a third-party personal injury lawsuit against a party who was responsible for the accident or injury.
One of the experienced Syracuse construction accident lawyers at our firm can evaluate your case for you today and provide you with more information about your options for seeking financial compensation. Contact Powers & Santola, LLP in Syracuse today to learn more about the options available to you under New York law.