Which Work Injuries are More Common in Winter?

caution wet floor sign on a title floor, a person in boots is walking behind it

Injury Risk is Affected by Seasonal Changes

The worst of the winter season is officially on its way to Chicago, and employees across the city should be aware of how adverse weather conditions could leave them injured. Unfortunately, this time of year can be infamous for increasing the risk of certain injury-causing incidents. Here's what you need to know.

Slips and Falls

It's unsurprising that the cold temperatures and possibility of snow and ice during the winter can cause an increase in slip and fall risk. Whether outside the building from an icy patch or inside the lobby where wet coats are dripping on the ground, it seems like every aspect of the workday can be affected by the probability of a slip and fall injury.

Employers should be conscious of how their workplace may be affected and take steps to prevent or remedy these issues. Actions like salting the entryway to the building or having "wet floor" signs posted throughout are simple fixes that can make a big difference.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Although the downtown Chicago area has street cleaners and salt trucks, driving into the city or traveling for work outside of it can become hazardous on roads that are less well-kept. Because of this, employees with driving in their work duties should be aware of how to adapt their driving style to inclement weather conditions. Remember:

  • Decrease your speed where ice is present.
  • Increase stopping distance between vehicles.
  • Use your headlights in heavy precipitation to increase visibility to other drivers.

Weather-Related Injuries and Illnesses

Chicago's extreme temperatures, snow, and ice during the winter can significantly affect a worker's health and safety, especially if they work outdoors. Cold weather can cause tension in the body, exacerbate already present health conditions, and contribute to a higher risk of becoming sick.

Additionally, many workers may not realize that they are experiencing signs of hypothermia or frostbite until it's too late. Outdoor workers and supervisors should be mindful of allowing for warming breaks and having areas where the employees can get out of the cold.

Our Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys are here to get you back on your feet after a work injury. To schedule a free consultation with a member of our team, call (312) 487-2513 or fill out this short form.

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