Construction work in New York City can be dangerous year-round, and the winter months introduce additional hazards for workers, particularly those working outdoors in adverse weather conditions. It's crucial for construction workers to proactively take safety measures to prevent accidents and injuries on the job during the winter season.
At Keogh Crispi, P.C. in Manhattan, our law firm is here to provide guidance on avoiding wintertime construction accidents and explain the common factors contributing to them. Here's what New York City construction workers need to know.
Construction accidents are common in the winter
Winter-related construction accidents are unfortunately all too common, with factors such as snow, ice, and extreme cold frequently playing a significant role in these incidents. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), weather-related conditions like snow and extreme cold are responsible for at least 50 workplace fatalities annually across the nation.
It's important to note that these statistics may only scratch the surface, as the causes of many winter-related construction accidents may not overtly indicate their connection to snow, ice, or extreme cold. Consequently, both construction workers and construction companies must exercise additional precautions when employees are exposed to the hazards of winter weather while working outdoors.
Common causes of winter construction accidents
Winter construction accidents can be attributed to a variety of factors, each presenting unique challenges and risks for construction workers. Some common causes of these accidents include:
- Icy or Slippery Conditions: Slip and fall accidents are a concern during winter, with over 20,000 workers across all industries sustaining injuries related to slips and falls on ice or snow each year, as reported by BLS data cited in Safety Reports. Notably, nearly 1 in 5 of these accidents occur within the construction industry, emphasizing the need for heightened caution in construction zones.
- Hypothermia and Frostbite: Workers exposed to extreme cold weather conditions can be susceptible to hypothermia or frostbite due to exposed skin. On average, over 800 people across the nation succumb to hypothermia annually, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Cold Stress Injuries: Prolonged exposure to frigid temperatures below freezing can lead to cold stress injuries, posing a significant threat to construction workers' well-being during winter months.
- Unsafe Working Conditions: Winter hazards like snow and ice can create hazardous working conditions at construction sites. These conditions demand additional safety measures to mitigate the risks associated with inclement weather.
How to keep construction workers safe in the winter
To ensure the safety of construction workers during the winter months, construction companies can implement various measures recommended by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). These proactive steps include:
- Snow and Ice Removal: Clearing snow and ice from surfaces frequently traversed by construction workers at job sites to prevent slips and falls, as icy conditions pose a significant hazard.
- Insulated Clothing: Equipping construction workers with insulated clothing to safeguard against cold weather-related injuries like frostbite, which often results from prolonged exposure of bare skin to low temperatures.
- Warning Signage: Placing warning signs strategically at construction sites where snow or ice accumulation is common during winter weather conditions to alert workers to potential hazards.
- Adjusting Work Schedules: Providing additional breaks or delaying specific tasks when extreme cold weather or high winds are present on certain days, prioritizing worker well-being.
- Equipment Inspection: Conducting thorough inspections of construction equipment before use in extreme cold weather to ensure proper functioning and safety.
- Heating Facilities: Supplying adequate heating facilities to keep construction workers warm and comfortable during frigid winter conditions.
- Ventilation and Fire Safety: Ensuring proper site ventilation and mitigating fire hazards if portable heating devices are utilized at construction sites, prioritizing both warmth and safety.
We get big results for injured construction workers in New York
Attorney Pat James Crispi has a proven track record of securing substantial results for New York construction workers who have sustained injuries while on the job. With extensive experience and a commitment to advocating for the rights of injured workers, Attorney Crispi has consistently delivered favorable outcomes in construction accident cases, including $6 million for three workers injured in a crane accident.
His dedication to maximizing compensation and holding responsible parties accountable has earned him recognition as a trusted advocate for injured workers in need of legal representation. When it comes to protecting the interests of injured construction workers in New York, our law firm delivers significant results.
Remember, the lawyer you choose can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. To find out how an experienced New York City construction accident lawyer can help with your potential legal case, contact us today for a free consultation.