As fall is in full swing and winter is just around the corner, it is time to prepare for inclement weather. Here on the East Coast, fall and winter weather can cause a lot of problems during your everyday life, including at work. Poor weather conditions lead to various hazards, from slippery surfaces to strenuous activities.
These hazards can increase your risk of getting hurt at work, so it is crucial to be aware of them and promote safety on the job. Here are the most common ways that bad weather can cause injuries at work.
1. Slipping on snow and ice
Sidewalks and parking lots become dangerous when covered by a layer of snow or ice. When people track snow or ice inside, it can make interior floors slippery. Wet floors can cause you to slip and sustain injuries such as brain injuries, broken bones and sprains. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says that your employer should see to it that walking surfaces are clear of snow and ice as soon as possible to prevent a winter workplace injury.
2. Using a snow blower
You may need to operate a snow blower to maintain or clean surfaces where employees or the public may walk. If the snow blower is not properly grounded, it could cause an electrocution. If you try to clear a jam when the snow blower is on, you could suffer a laceration.
3. Shoveling snow
Even a task as normal as shoveling snow can cause you problems at work. If you must remove snow at work, it can cause back injuries, dehydration and exhaustion. You should take frequent breaks and warm up before you perform this task. You should also do your best to push the snow instead of lifting it and injuring your back.
Fall and winter can be dangerous seasons for workers. Stay aware of these hazards when you go to work.