How Winter Weather Increases Risk Of Workers’ Compensation Claims In Maryland
Winter can be a grueling time of year in Maryland. Frigid temperatures, icy conditions, and heavy snow accumulations make daily tasks more difficult. Unfortunately, winter weather also increases the likelihood of on-the-job accidents, which can result in serious personal injuries. Our Maryland workers’ compensation attorney explains more about the risks.
How Winter Weather Makes Work-Related Accidents More Likely To Happen
Winter weather conditions can create serious hazards when driving, performing tasks around the house, or engaging in any outdoor activities. They can also jeopardize your safety on the job.
Occupation Health and Safety (OHS) reports that weather-related accidents involving frigid temperatures, freezing rain, or snow impact more than 20,000 workers during the winter season each year. Among the biggest risks include:
- Vehicle accidents: Besides impacting transportation workers, vehicle accidents can happen on construction sites, parking lots, and in stock or cargo holding areas.
- Equipment accidents: Tools and machinery you use on the job are more likely to freeze up or otherwise fail to function correctly during cold winter weather, increasing injury risks.
- Slips and falls: Falls are the most common type of on-the-job accident and can happen indoors due to wet floors or when working outside in Icy conditions on ladders, scaffolding, or other equipment.
- Exposure to the elements: Winter weather in Maryland can be better. Wet shoes and not wearing gloves, hats, and other protective gear increase the risk of frostbite and cold stress.
When Winter Weather Causes On The Job Injuries
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that workers exposed to extreme cold or wet winter weather are at high risk of potentially debilitating occupational illnesses and injuries. Broken bones, torn muscles or tendons, head or back injuries, and other conditions, such as hypothermia and frostbite, can leave you unable to work.
If you suffer cold-related injuries on the job, workers’ compensation benefits in Maryland may help cover your losses. To protect your health and your rights in a claim, follow these steps:
- Dress appropriately for winter weather and use gloves, hats, boots, and other gear as needed;
- Wear non-slip shoes, to reduce the risk of fall accidents;
- Monitor the amount of time you spend outdoors and take frequent breaks;
- Give vehicles, tools, and machinery time to warm up properly;
- Shovel snow regularly and use rock salt to prevent slips.
- If any type of accident or injury happens, notify your employer immediately.
Seek medical attention for your injuries as soon as possible and follow all doctor instructions regarding treatment and activity restrictions. If you are unable to work, you may be entitled to benefits through the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Request A Consultation With Our Maryland Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
Winter weather increases the risk of work-related accidents in Maryland. At Berman | Sobin | Gross LLP we help you get the benefits you are entitled to in a claim. To request a consultation with our Maryland workers’ compensation attorneys, call or contact our office online today.