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Winter Workplace Accidents: Be Prepared for Common Risks

Workers in any industry can face risks of preventable accidents and injuries while on the job, but some occupations see those risks increase during winter months – especially in places like Chicago, where there’s a considerable difference in weather conditions and a number of related risks. As a firm committed to representing injured victims, workers, and families year-round, Leonard Law Group wants you to be prepared to manage common risks and avoid winter workplace accidents.

Common workplace accidents and risks during the winter months include:

  • Slip and fall accidents – Accidents involving slips, trips, and falls are a leading cause of workplace injuries and death year-round, but they can increase during winter months. Whether you work outdoors or inside, preventing slip and fall accidents requires a commitment to ensuring safe working conditions, including regular clearing of snow and ice from walking surfaces, wearing proper footwear, and taking shorter, slower steps when performing any work on slippery surfaces. If there are tools or materials near or around walkways, including tools for removing snow and ice, make sure they are properly secured and out of the way so as to not create tripping hazards.
  • Winter auto accidents – Winter roadway hazards, including snow, ice, fog, and more, are a danger for anyone on the road, including those who drive larger commercial vehicles, trucks, or buses or any vehicle for the purpose of work. Before winter weather takes a turn, be sure to thoroughly inspect vehicles for potential issues that can increase risks, including aged tires and old or faulty brakes. Be sure to also have an emergency kit and plan that includes windshield scrapers, snow brushes and shovels, traction aids, tow chains, and more. Avoiding car and truck accidents also requires a commitment to obeying the rules of the road and driving in accordance to prevailing conditions, especially when in or near school and roadwork zones. Even for those who don’t work outdoors, giving yourself extra time when traveling to and from work in poor weather can reduce risk associated with rushing to get into work on time.
  • Working from heights – Those who work from heights, including construction workers, know the numerous dangers they face when doing so. If you’re required to work from heights during winter months, take extra caution when doing so. Be sure snow removal is done properly before any work is performed, and that proper inspections are done to ensure any added weight from snow or ice don’t create collapse hazards. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like non-slip boots and fall-arrest systems become even more important this time of year.
  • Electrical hazards / power lines – Winter weather can wreak havoc on electrical systems and power grids. If you have to perform electrical work during this time, or work on or near downed or damaged power lines, remember that snow can reduce the insulation benefits of PPE, and increase risks of electrocution. De-energized work is safer in these conditions, and any energized work should be done in accordance to safe work practices under qualified supervision and care.
  • Snow and ice removal – Whatever your job may be, you may have to remove snow and ice from time to time for the safety of yourself, your coworkers, and any guests or customers. When doing so, be sure to stretch before exerting yourself, start slowly and work at a steady pace, take breaks when needed, work with lightweight shovels and tools when possible to reduce strain, bend at the knees when lifting, and wear multiple layers so you can shed some if you begin to feel overheated.

Injured in a Winter Accident? Leonard Law Group Can Help!

Leonard Law Group is a full-service personal injury and workers’ compensation law firm that has recovered over half a billion dollars in compensation for clients since 1995. Whether you or someone you love has been hurt on the job or as a result of any preventable accident, our team is available to protect your rights as your navigate the most appropriate path toward compensation, and seek a fair and full financial recovery of your damages, including economic and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and more.

Our team has the experience to handle a range of winter accidents, including those involving:

Speak with a member of our award-winning team during a FREE and confidential consultation. Call (312) 487-2513 or contact us online to get started.

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