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Work-Related Injuries in the Winter and How to Avoid Them

By Alpert Schreyer on January 13, 2014

Many Maryland employers have struggled with whether or not to close their businesses during these treacherous winter storms. Asking employees to drive in these conditions is not always advisable and there are a number of winter-related hazards that exist at the workplace once they arrive.

Slip-and-fall accidents, for example, are a serious problem at all Maryland workplaces right now. Workers are often at risk of falling in parking lots, sidewalks, and wet hallways. Employers must ensure that snow and other winter hazards are removed from walkways and parking lots right away and that non-skid rugs and mats are placed at each doorway. If possible, an employee should be tasked with keeping the workplace safe by drying the floors and by placing warning signs around wet areas.

In addition to fall hazards, employees who are required to work outside or in cold warehouses are at risk of suffering from cold stress. This is when the body cannot adequately warm itself. Workers exposed to these types of conditions can develop frostbite or even hypothermia. Workers should be provided warm liquids and long breaks to stay warm.

Those tasked with keeping others safe are in danger of getting hurt as well. Shoveling snow can result in devastating back injuries and using a snow blower can be dangerous as well. Make sure that employees pace themselves and take adequate breaks when shoveling snow. It is also important that only workers who are physically capable of shoveling are put to work. Maintenance workers tasked with snow blowing should be trained regarding the safe operation of the machinery.

When workers are hurt, it is important that they are informed of their rights. They should seek out immediate medical attention and workers’ compensation benefits may be available to cover their medical treatment and lost wages.

If you have been injured on the job and are being denied the support you need, please contact an experienced Maryland workers’ compensation lawyer at Alpert Schreyer by calling (844) 632-7274 and receive vital information about pursuing your legal rights.

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