Wintertime in the Midwest creates unique risks to construction workers from on-the-job injuries. Bad weather creates situations where they’re vulnerable to slipping, falling, cold stress, hypothermia, and accidents with equipment. Construction workers rely on their skill and strength to raise skyscrapers, create residential homes, build our roads, and maintain our infrastructure. The nature of their work exposes them to unique dangers. And, the harsh winter cold and climate just adds threats to their well-being.
As an attorney who represents Chicagoland clients in Workers’ Compensation claims, I fight for victims every day to gain the benefits they deserve. Since the construction business must keep going, even in the worst Chicago winter, I want to offer some industry supported suggestions that will reduce the likelihood that you will be injured this winter while on a work site.
1) Be Prepared.
Always attend the safety meeting at the start of every shift. It makes you aware of your role, what those around you are doing, and the equipment being used that day.
Working in teams of at least 2 co-workers allows for ongoing monitoring so that individuals can be aware of each other’s status. The buddy-system works.
3) Cold and wind shields.
Employers and contractors should provide radiant heaters or shields to protect work areas from Chicago’s notorious wind.
Frequent short breaks should be scheduled throughout the day to give workers a chance to warm up.
Frequent consumption of warm, sweet drinks such as hot chocolate or decaffeinated tea is critical to replenish the body with sugar water or sports drinks. Drinks with caffeine or alcohol should be avoided.
6) Snow Dangers.
Snow and ice should be cleared from walkways and work surfaces to prevent falls. Work should be avoided on rooftops or other elevated surfaces after a snowfall. If it’s unavoidable, fall protection equipment and training should be provided.
7) Pace and Protect Yourself.
Slow down. Being in a rush makes you more vulnerable. Recognize that your ‘pace’ needs to slow-down during winter. Your hands and arms play a critical role in maintaining your balance. Keep them free.
Good footing is critical. Work boots for winter should have soles with non-slip grip for traction, a composite toe for protection from impact (tools and equipment slip more often during the winter), and waterproof and insulated. Numb feat slow your reaction time and lead to falls.
Proper headwear fends off cold and wet conditions. However, be careful of headwear that limits your ability to hear and see. In particular, hoodies – while protecting you from wind and cold – can seriously limit your ability to see dangerous threats and conditions.
Injuries can keep construction workers away from work, bring medical expenses, and create concerns about providing for their family. If you are injured on-the-job, or as a result of someone’s negligence, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries.
We Help Chicagoland Construction Workers who become Victims.
The Attorneys at Friend, Levinson & Turner Law apply a disciplined approach to gain a comprehensive perspective of the facts, issues, and injuries experienced by victims of work-related injuries claims. Our knowledge, experience, insight, and advice are invaluable. We help you avoid mistakes that may weaken your case. We ensure that no legal deadlines are missed, advise you of realistic compensation, and keep your case moving forward.
Big corporations and insurance companies rely on professional adjusters to negotiate. In order to deal with these professionals, you need a highly-trained, skilled attorney to protect your rights. We know your rights and the applicable laws. We are your advocates. We are experts at negotiating with powerful insurance companies. 50-years of experience counts.
We make the legal process as stress-free as possible. We focus on recovering compensation for you – while you focus upon your physical recovery.
If you or a loved one is injured in a victim of a workplace injury or the negligence of others, please call my office or email.