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Preventing winter construction injuries with basic safety rules

New York construction workers know that their jobs can be even more dangerous in winter. But many accidents can be avoided if builders and contractors put safety first and make sure fundamental winter safety rules are always followed on their job sites.

Winter safety guidelines are usually not complicated, but they have to be followed consistently. In too many cases we see, construction employers cut corners to speed up their projects, which benefits the bottom line but also leads to injured and deceased workers. Fall injury risk can be higher in cold weather, and there are many other types of injuries that can be avoided with disciplined adherence to safety rules.

Common winter hazards 

OSHA identifies numerous winter work hazards and weather-related factors that are applicable to the construction industry. The list of hazards includes:

  • Dangers related to snow shoveling and snow removal
  • Slips and falls on icy, wet or snowy surfaces
  • Improper footwear with inadequate insulation or tread
  • Electrical dangers related to power lines
  • Problems associated with equipment like snow blowers and power tools
  • Potential injury-causing factors with vehicle and machine operation

Critical safety precautions

The following precautions are essential to the safety and well-being of construction workers:

  • The safe use of ladders and scaffolds at all times
  • Training to prevent injuries caused by overexertion and work in cold temperatures
  • Insistence on the proper use of safety harnesses, 100 percent of the time, for every worker
  • The use of proper footwear and clothing for employees working in cold temperatures
  • The implementation of safe snow and ice removal methods
  • Adaptations (including the stoppage of work, when necessary) made in response to wind, snow, rain and other potentially hazardous weather conditions

What to do after a construction accident

Nobody wants to get hurt or see their loved ones hurt, but it happens sometimes. Every accident is different — and every case is important.

If you or someone you care about gets hurt on a New York City construction site, you may benefit greatly by talking to an attorney who understands the legal side of construction injuries. You and your family may be entitled to money damages through a third-party injury claim.

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