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Winter weather can pose risk to construction workers

Construction workers in Pennsylvania often face dangerous conditions on the job that can all too easily lead to workplace accident or injury. This is especially true in the winter season when dark skies, cold temperatures and snowy precipitation may add extra risks to a construction area. Workers may be more vulnerable to frostbite, and equipment could be damaged in winter weather. Safety measures help make winter construction safer for everyone involved.

As winter approaches, it is important to inspect road and parking areas to repair potholes or other damage before snowfall or a frozen ground settles in. Maintenance will be easier if the surface below is repaired prior to heavy winter weather. In addition, holes, ditching and excavations should be clearly marked, particularly if they run the risk of being obscured by snowfall. Sites should be sure to have salt, sand or grit on site and ready to apply in case of frozen or slippery passageways. In addition, construction equipment should be using oils and fluids that are rated for winter temperatures.

Snow removal itself could present a risk of workplace injuries. Shoveling snow can be hard, strenuous work; in addition, cold weather can cause arteries to constrict. The two together increase the risk of a heart attack. In addition, when using snow removal equipment, slippery and often frozen surfaces are left behind. This can lead to slip-and-fall accidents as well as equipment crashes. Ice can also accumulate on scaffolding, ladders and platforms, leading to a particularly dangerous situation for workers operating at heights.

At any time of year, construction workers can face serious injuries on the job, often leading to time away from work and, sometimes, permanent disabilities. A workers' compensation attorney may be able to help injured employees protect their rights and seek the benefits they deserve.

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