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Protecting Outdoor Workers in Wicked Winter Weather

Most of us would like to snuggle up by the fireplace and admire the snowy weather from the warmth of our own home. But for many others, that winter weather is an office. We’re talking about those who work outside all day, each day, season after season.
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Many workers love this kind of work. Many enjoy working so near to Mother Nature. Those are the ones who can’t imagine working in a cubicle and those are the ones who face some of the most serious risks for accidents on the job when the weather turns inclement.

According to the Boston Globe, many of the area’s government agencies employ these workers, including the Massachusetts’ Environmental Police. These officials work to promote and enforce the laws of the Commonwealth. This helps to protect our environment and the natural resources it offers. This job calls for a lot of time outside, in the woods and on the water.

Our Boston workers’ compensation attorneys understand that prolonged exposure to freezing or cold temperatures may cause serious health problems. These problems can include frostbite, hypothermia and even trench foot. Many of these conditions can be serious or even fatal.

“You learn to dress for it,” said a local park ranger. “I may not be a fashion plate, but I’m not cold. I may look like one of those guys from Stalingrad, but it gets the job done.”

Luckily, there are ways that we can help to keep these workers safe. Read and review the following safety pointers and make sure that all of your outdoor workers are following along.

-Be sure that everyone understands and is able to recognize the symptoms and conditions of cold-induced illnesses and injuries. You also want to make sure they understand the steps that need to be taken when these conditions are identified.

-Make sure that all workers are properly trained.

-Be sure that workers are wearing the proper clothing when working in cold, wet and windy conditions.

-Make sure that employees who are working in extremely cold conditions are taking frequent, short breaks in warm and dry areas to let their bodies warm up.

-Try to have your workers complete outdoor tasks during the warmest part of the day.

-Make sure no one is out there working alone. The buddy system is the best way to help to keep worker safe.

-Make sure that all workers are getting plenty of fluids. To be more specific, they should be consuming warm sweet beverages. Try to stay away of drinks with caffeine.

-Use thermal insulating material on equipment handles when temperatures drop below 30°F (-1°C).

Extreme cold weather is a dangerous situation that can bring on health emergencies in susceptible people — and some of the most susceptible people are our outdoor workers. Make sure you’re prepared for all weather conditions.

If you or a loved one has been injured in the Greater Boston area, contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC for a free and confidential consultation. Call 1-877-617-5333.

More Blog Entries:

Boston Prepares for Next Natural Disaster, Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, February 12, 2013

Landlords Leaving Some in the Cold, Putting People at Risk, Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, January 30, 2013