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How Does Winter Increase the Chances of an Illinois Workplace Injury?

Posted on in Workers' Compensation

Schaumburg workplace injury attorney

Winter has always been a season that requires extra safety precautions. Record-breaking cold temperatures and massive snowfall accumulations are becoming more and more common. Because of these dangerous conditions, workplace injuries are more likely to occur, and workers’ compensation claims tend to increase during winter months. During cold weather, you can take steps to protect your safety, but if an injury does occur, you should work with an attorney to determine your legal options.

Workplace Injuries Related to Cold Weather

During the winter, there are many different types of workplace injuries that can occur because of cold temperatures and hazardous conditions. In addition to the risks of slip-and-fall injuries due to icy and snowy working conditions, workers are also in danger of the following cold stress injuries:

  • Frostbite: Freezing of the skin that causes numbness

  • Chilblains: Inflammation of blood vessels that causes redness and itching

  • Hypothermia: Lowering of the body temperature that impairs brain function

Staying Safe During the Winter

Employers in Illinois must provide a safe work area for their employees. Companies are also required to carry workers' compensation insurance in the event of a workplace accident, injury, or illness. There are also many ways that workers can stay safe during the winter. These include:

  • Bundle up—Wear extra layers of clothing whenever possible, including hats and gloves.

  • Get a grip—Make sure you wear slip-resistant footwear with strong traction to protect against icy surfaces.

  • See the light—Wherever you are working, especially if indoors or near entrances and stairways, check that your employer has provided adequate lighting.

  • Plow through—If you notice that your employer has not plowed, shoveled, or salted the parking lot or other areas at your workplace or worksite, bring it to their attention. They are responsible for maintaining a safe work environment. 

  • Check your vehicle—Confirm that your tires are properly inflated, your windshield wipers and turn signals are working well, and your car is ready for the commute or the workday.

  • Take your time—This is not the time to rush through your work, especially if it involves a lot of movement outside. Wintertime puts you at even greater odds of a careless injury taking place, so in this case, slow and steady wins the day.

  • Watch for signs—If it says there is falling ice or a slippery surface, that is something you are going to want to know on your way to work or while working. Pay attention to these signs and if your employer has not posted such signs where they should be, alert the management right away. 

  • Stay hydrated—Keep your energy levels up with water and food so that you are alert and aware of your surroundings in order to avoid any weather-related hazards.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Workplace Injury Attorney

Working during the winter can be dangerous. Be sure to take all the necessary precautions to stay safe outside this winter. If you or someone you know suffers a work-related injury this winter, reach out to Newland & Newland, LLP. Depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to file a workers' compensation claim with your employer. Our aggressive yet compassionate Schaumburg workers' compensation lawyers will provide you with the attention you deserve, and we will help you achieve and the legal outcome you desire. Call our office today at 847-797-8000 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.

Sources:
https://ohsonline.com/articles/2019/10/01/preparing-for-old-man-winters-arrival.aspx
https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/coldstress/default.html
https://www.businessinsurance.com/article/00010101/NEWS08/912326396/Cold,-snow-can-lead-to-uptick-in-workplace-injuries,-comp-claims
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2430&ChapterID=68

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