Whether you work inside or outside, wintertime in the Midwest creates unique risks of slipping, falling, and injuries while on-the-job. Wet floors. Ice. Snow covering curbs and debris. Injuries that keep you away from work, create medical expenses, and add concerns about providing for your family.
As an attorney who represents clients in Chicago area Workers’ Compensation claims, I fight for victims every day to gain the benefits they deserve. With the risks posed by winter conditions, I want to offer some suggestions that will reduce the likelihood that you will be hurt by winter slip and fall accidents at work.
Wear ‘Right’ Shoes. Many people forget how important it is to wear the appropriate shoes during the wintertime. Shoes for winter should be:
- Flat for balance.
- Have sufficient tread for traction.
- Keep your feet warm and dry.
While they aren’t always fashionable, boots are ideal – especially in snow or while outside in the cold. But, any shoe that meets these 3 conditions will improve your footing and reduce risk of injury from slipping and falling. And, if you need something ‘lighter’ (or more fashionable) to wear while inside during the day, you can always change for indoor wear – as long as they still meet the 3-conditions noted above.
Slow-down. Being in a rush makes you more vulnerable. Recognize that your ‘pace’ needs to slow-down during inclement winter weather. Your usual steps need extra attention – you need to look before stepping. Puddles can ice-up. Black ice can cover sidewalks and catch you completely unaware. Talking on a cell phone while walking is asking for trouble.
Go Hands Free. Your hands and arms play a critical role in maintaining your balance and catching yourself in mid-fall. Keep them free! If you need to carry papers or work supplies, consider using a backpack or something that will keep your arms free.
What To Do If You’re Injured.
The unexpected nature of these slip and fall accidents can lead to broken bones along with muscle strains and aches. If you are injured while on-the-job, based upon my years of experience, I can offer a 5-step checklist to maximize success with your claims. I know the territory, the pitfalls, and the hurdles.
Step 1: Medical Care. First and foremost is your health. Seek medical attention and treatment immediately. Be sure to get copies of medical records regarding your exam and treatment. Take photos of any cuts or bruises or any physical damage that may not be revealed on X-rays. Being examined by a physician and following their medical advice is always first priority.
Step 2: Notify your employer. Following your initial medical treatment, notify your employer. Do not wait. In Illinois, you have only a short time to notify your employer of the injury.
Step 3: Document the situation. Accidents are scary. Details are easy to overlook. Write down what you remember happening as soon as possible in your private notes. What was happening just prior to the accident? Equipment condition? Where were you located? Who came to help? What was said? Get the names of witnesses.
Do not share these notes with anyone other than your attorney who will find these enormously helpful in fighting for you.
Step 4: Notify your union. If you’re a member of a union, make your steward aware of your injury. Your union can provide significant help.
Step 5: Retain an attorney. Contact a Workers Compensation attorney in Chicago who is knowledgeable and experienced with Workers Compensation cases. We help you navigate the claims process to insure that you receive all the benefits you deserve. We fight for your rights, your benefits, and assist with all the details — so that you can focus on healing.
We Help 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. Our knowledge, experience, insight, and advice are invaluable. We make the legal process as stress-free as possible. We focus on recovering the compensation you deserve, while you focus upon recovery.
If you or a loved one is injured at work, please call us at CLICK HERE to send us a message.or