Does your job require you to be outdoors? During the winter months, your job requirements may not change, even when the temperature drops snow and ice cover the landscape. Regardless of the type of job you have, you have the right to a reasonable expectation to safety. This applies even in the winter season when you will face exposure to the elements during the workday.
Cold stress is a real concern for the men and women who have to work outdoors in the winter. Ohio can have brutal winters, and employers should take steps to ensure their workers are safe as possible while doing their jobs. When there are no safety measures and protection protocols in place, people can suffer serious health effects caused by cold stress.
The dangers of cold weather
Working in the cold is much more than just an inconvenience. It can be quite dangerous for a worker’s health. Cold stress is a term used to describe the ill effects that continuous exposure to cold weather can have on a person’s health. Some of the conditions that can develop due to cold stress include:
- Trench foot
The chances of you suffering from a health condition related to cold stress significantly increases with certain factors, such as damp conditions, wearing the wrong clothes, working while exhausted and preexisting health conditions.
One of the most effective ways that employers can keep workers safe is to provide adequate training on how to stay safe while working in the cold. If you work in the elements, you should know how to recognize the signs of cold stress in yourself and others, as well as how to react when a problem arises. You should also have the right clothes and protective equipment, and employers should try to provide ambient heaters when possible.
What to do if hurt at work
If you become sick or develop a physical injury due to dangerous conditions at work, you have the right to seek certain benefits that will help you get the care and support you need. A workers’ compensation claim can help you secure medical help, replacement of some of your lost wages and other kinds of support necessary to help you recover and move forward.
The effects of cold stress or other type of job-related condition are serious. If your job is the reason for your pain and suffering, you may want to discuss your potential claim with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.